Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed Senate Bill No. 2001 or the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act on January 21, 2020 to further promote and fulfill the long-term sports development program in the country.
“I continue my advocacy to promote sports in the country with this bill that, I know, will further the development of our sports programs and eventually shape more athletes into champions,” Go said.
One of the goals of this bill is to institutionalize a comprehensive national sports program linking grassroots sports promotion to elite sports development initiatives. He added that through grassroots sports development, the youth will gain more discipline, have a sense of charity, bayahanihan (cooperation), patriotism and nationalism.
The bill also encourages local government officials to promote the development of sports in the countryside. This would cover all barangays, towns, municipalities, cities and provinces.
As compared to the Palarong Pambansa, the PNG aims to be a more inclusive national sports competition that will widen the base for talent identification, selection and recruitment of athletes, including those who are not enrolled in schools. This will hopefully constitute the national pool to be trained for international sports competition.
Once this bill becomes a law, the Philippine National Games’ management, coordination, and implementation will be carried out by the Philippine Sports Commission.
In the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in the country in 2019, the Philippines ranked as the overall champion.
Go authored Republic Act 11470, already signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte, which establishes the National Academy of Sports (NAS) where its secondary education program integrates a special curriculum on sports for young and potential Filipino athletes. The NAS will likewise provide full scholarship to qualified natural-born secondary school students.
Furthermore, Go has appealed to concerned national agencies for the continuous release of allowances for qualified national athletes as well as additional support for competitors and workers in the sports sectors, amid the adverse effect of the pandemic on their livelihoods.“One team, one goal, let us heal and recover as one! Patuloy ang ating supporta sa mga atletang Pilipino, hindi lamang sa kompetisyon kundi patirin sa oras ng kanilang pangangailangan. Magbayanihan po tayo (Let us continue supporting Filipino athletes, not only during competitions but also during their times of need. Let us cooperate),” he ended. SOVEREIGNPH