Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday vowed the full support of the House of Representatives for the development of esports in the country as he expressed confidence the Philippines could cement its position as a dominant force in the gaming arena.
Romualdez made the commitment in his message during the launch of the Unity League and its inaugural Mobile Legends: Bang Bang nationwide tournament at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.
“As the leader of the House of Representatives, I assure you that we are fully committed to supporting the development of esports in the country,” said Romualdez.
“We believe in the power of youth, innovation, and technology to bring about positive change. Together, let’s make history and prove that the Philippines can be a dominant force in esports, just as we have been in other sports disciplines,” he added.
The country’s esports athletes have scored significant wins in the international scene, including the gold medal the Philippine National Esports Team (Sibol) bagged in the 2023 IESF Mobile Legends: Bang Bang event held last August in Romania.
The Philippines likewise clinched the gold and silver medals at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang for the male and female categories, respectively, in May last year in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Romualdez bared that the House will help provide funding support, through the Philippine Sports Commission, to offer a prize money of P2 million for the winning team, P1 million for the runner-up, and P500,000 for the third-place winner.
Likewise, Romualdez agreed to suggestions to double the prize money for the regional competition, originally pegged at P60,000 for the first place, P30,000 for the second place, and P20,000 for the 3rd place winner.
Romualdez was accompanied in the event by Committee on Appropriations Chairman Zaldy Co and Secretary General Reginald Velasco.
According to Romualdez, the launch of the Unity League is a pivotal moment in the history of Philippine esports and a bold step towards recognizing and nurturing the immense talent pool in our country.
He noted that the Philippines has a rich tradition of excellence in various sports and can extend this legacy to the digital arena through the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang nationwide tournament.
“By opening this platform to all Local Government Units, we are tapping into the grassroots level, where the heart of Philippine esports beats the strongest,” Romualdez said.
He commended PTV4, its broadcast partner IBC-13, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Esports Organization for their vision and efforts in making the Unity League a reality.
Pointing out that esports has rapidly evolved from being a pastime to a global phenomenon, Speaker Romualdez exhorted the young athletes participating in the tournament to showcase their skills and be part of something bigger than themselves.
“Do not look to the Unity League as a mere competition. It is a chance to showcase your skills, to represent your communities, and to be part of something bigger than yourselves. It is an opportunity to be at the forefront of an exciting and emerging field, to potentially become national esports athletes under Team Sibol, and to contribute to our country’s success on the international stage,” Romualdez said.
“Remember, every champion was once a contender that refused to give up. So, I encourage you to seize this opportunity, to dream big, and to work hard. The future of Philippine esports looks bright, and it’s up to us to ensure that it shines on the world stage.”