The House and the Senate both vowed to include in the 2022 General Appropriations Act a budget for four major international competitions next year, Philippine Olympic Committee President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino bared on Wednesday.
“House Speaker Lord Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto III assured the inclusion of the budget for four major international competitions next year,” Tolentino said. “This after the Department of Budget and Management didn’t allot a single centavo to the Philippine Sports Commission budget for these major events.”
The major international events in 2022, Tolentino said, are the Beijing Winter Olympics (February 4 to 20), Thailand Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (March 10 to 20), Huangzhou Asian Games (September 10 to 25) and Shantou Asian Youth Games (December 20 to 28).
The POC, Tolentino said, would immediately determine the composition (entry by numbers) for the four major events in order to draw how much budget would be allocated by the 18th Congress.
“The budget hearings are coming up so we have to be steadfast,” Tolentino said. “Philippine sports must be unwavering as we have to sustain the momentum of our successful campaign in the Tokyo Olympics.”
Tolentino thanked Sotto and Velasco ahead of the realization of the additional budget, saying both chambers of Congress “are very supportive of Philippine sports.”
“We have our sports heroes in gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and the 15 other athletes who fought mightily in Tokyo,” Tolentino said. “Their success and how they campaigned changed the landscape of Philippine sports.”
The POC already pegged a 160-athlete delegation which will compete in 21 of the 31 sports in the AIMAG Thailand is hosting in Bangkok and Chonburri—with Team Philippines hoping to surpass the two gold, 14 silver and 14 bronze medals won in the games’ 2017 edition in Ashgabat.
The country booked one of its modest performances in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where it won four golds that went with two silvers and 15 bronzes.
Figure skaters Edrian Celestino, Sofia Frank and Christopher Caluza, meanwhile, will be vying for qualification for Beijing in an Olympic qualifier in Germany later this month.
The Asian Youth Games were last held in 2013 in Nanjing, China, where the Philippines garnered a 2-4-1 gold-silver-bronze tally.