The Duterte administration invested significantly more in sports than the previous governments, which has made the Philippines achieved its best Olympics haul since its first participation in 1924, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque explained that in the first full year of the Duterte administration in 2017, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) received a budget of P223.547 million.
He said this figure is “nearly double” the P168.675 million given by the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III to the PSC during its first full year in 2011.
Roque said the PSC received P1.3 billion from the Duterte administration this year—his fifth year in office while P186.924 million was given to the PSC during Aquino’s last full year in office in 2015.
“You can see it. There really is a direct correlation on the amount invested in sports to the performance of our national athletes,” he said in Filipino in a Palace press briefing.
He said the Duterte administration also spent P9.5 billion to construct a world-class sports complex at New Clark City.
The complex, which was built to serve as the showpiece of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December 2019, includes a 20,000-seat Athletics Stadium with an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-certified track; a 2,000-seat International Swimming Federation (FINA)-certified Aquatics Center, and an Athletes’ Village.
“This is an important investment, not just in infrastructure, but an investment in what we call human capital—our athletes,” he added in Filipino.
On Monday, Roque said it is “no coincidence” that the Philippines achieved its best Olympics campaign during the Duterte administration.
“The figures will bear me out but the President really invested in our athletes. For the first time, we gave record financial assistance to our athletes and we can now see the fruits of this investment,” he said in Filipino.