MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law establishing the National Academy of Sports (NAS) designed as an educational facility for student-athletes, Malacañang confirmed on Wednesday.
Duterte inked Republic Act (RA) 11470 in a simple ceremony in Davao City on June 9, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
“The Philippines has demonstrated that we can be on par with our neighbors in the region in terms of sports. With PRRD’s (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) signing of RA 11470, we are confident that we will be able to raise our student-athletes’ competitiveness in the field of sports and produce world-class athletes in the years to come,” Roque said.
Malacañang has yet to release a copy of RA 11470.
Under the new law, the NAS is tasked to implement a secondary education program that is integrated with a special curriculum on sports to help young Filipino athletes develop further their sporting skills.
RA 11470 grants full scholarship to qualified student-athletes.
The main campus of the NAS will be established at the newly constructed New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac.
According to the law, it would be equipped with the necessary sports facilities, housing, and other amenities that are based on current international standards.
School buildings with a sufficient number of classrooms and facilities will also be constructed at the complex.
The NAS will be attached to the Department of Education (DepEd).
The DepEd, in close coordination with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), is directed to develop the athletic skills and talents of students in facilities at par with international standards.
The DepEd secretary will chair the academy’s Board of Trustees while an executive director appointed by the education chief and has an expertise in sports will head the NAS.
The new law allows the academy’s board to approve the hiring of licensed foreign coaches, trainers, and consultants duly-certified by PSC to ensure the international competitiveness of the student-athletes.
Roque deemed the signing of RA 11460 as a “good follow-through” to the Philippines’ hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games where it emerged as the overall leader in the medals tally.
He also lauded the senators and congressmen for making sure that the measure establishing the NAS would be enacted into law.
“This is one of the priority legislative measures mentioned by the President in last year’s State of the Nation Address, as recommended by Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports and one of the principal authors of RA No. 11470,” Roque said.
Go, chairperson of the Senate sports committee, was confident that with the establishment of the NAS, student-athletes can enjoy a level of training that is at par with the best in the world and at the same time be given quality education.
“It is about time that we establish a learning institution focused on sports,” he said. “I firmly believe that with this law, we will be able to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sports development.” (PNA)