The House of Representatives early this week ratified the bicameral conference report on House Bill 6312 and Senate Bill 1086, that provide for the establishment of the National Academy of Sports System.
The bills aim to enhance the skills and talents of young students who are found to have full athletic potentials.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, a principal author of HB No. 6312, welcomed the ratification, saying that creation of the NAS System was one of the priority bills raised by President Duterte during his State of the Nation Address in July 2019.
Cayetano said the establishment of the NAS System will inspire the youth to engage in sports and subsequently allow them to develop the essential traits to usher in a new generation of well-rounded and upright members of society.
“Sports helps to bring positive transformation in the community. The people and the community can learn so much from sports as it instills values of discipline, teamwork, dedication, patriotism, passion, sportsmanship and sacrifice. But more importantly, it is a potent tool to prevent young children from getting addicted to illegal drugs,” he said.
Both bills mandate the NAS to train high school students with strong athletic potentials in a specialized school that would serve as the premier training institution for world-class Filipino athletes and future sports heroes.
Cayetano, who chaired the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, also said that the country is now moving closer toward the development of a grassroots sports program.
The bill declares that the State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building. Hence, the State shall, among other things, provide adequate training for students with athletic abilities to produce world-class athletes for competitive sports with solid academic background and strong patriotic ideals. Towards this end, an educational system geared towards promoting and preparing the youth for a long-term career in sports shall be instituted.
The bill provides for the creation of the NAS System to develop the athletic skills and talents of students. Initially, it shall implement a secondary education program, combined with a special curriculum on sports.
The NAS System shall be a continuing source of excellent athletes and sports leaders for the preservation and promotion of competitive sports in the country. It shall be administratively attached to the Department of Education.
The main venue for the NAS System shall be established at the existing New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac. It shall be equipped with the modern sports facilities, housing and other amenities based on current international standards. School buildings shall also be constructed at the sports complex.
Governing the NAS System would be a Board of Trustees composed of the Department of Education Secretary as chairman, the Philippine Sports Commission chairman as vice chairman, the Commission on Higher Education chairman, the NAS executive director, representatives from the Philippine Olympic Committee and representatives from academe and sports community, respectively, as members.
Under the bills, the NAS System shall approve and grant scholarships, stipends, and such other allowances to deserving students based on the guidelines and implementing rules of the proposed law. It shall be headed by an executive director who shall serve for six years.