Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for bigger allowance and improved sports facilities for Filipino athletes as he sought the passage of the law that raises the cash incentives for winning national athletes.
“After we moved to increase the incentives of the winning athletes, we must ensure that our national athletes have sufficient allowance,” said Angara.
“We should provide them with enough support and assistance to help them develop their potential and empower them to win,” said Angara, sponsor of Republic Act 10699 raising the incentives and benefits of winning athletes and coaches.
The Finance Committee Vice Chairman made the call after listening to the clamor of Asian Games medallists who attended the budget hearing of the Philippine Sports Commission on Thursday.
Angara asked the medallists to voice their insights on how to improve the state of Philippine sports and on how government can better help the athletes. A number of the medallists lamented their meager allowances.
Currently, of the 887 national athletes, more than half or 456 belong to the Training Pool receiving a P10,200 monthly allowance.
There are only eight Platinum athletes in the country today, including weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who are getting P45,000 per month.
“Included in the allowance are their food, housing school expenses, and money to buy their sports needs,” he said.
“Marami rin sa kanila, ipinadadala sa kani-kanilang pamilya ang nakukuha nilang allowance,” said Angara, who is looking into augmenting PSC’s budget to fund a P5,000-increase in the allowance of all the athletes.
Meanwhile, gold medallist Margielyn Didal pointed out the lack of training centers in the country. Bronze medallist Junna Tsukii also mentioned during the hearing that the PhilSports Complex is already “very dirty.”
The senator has called on the PSC to fast-track the P1-billion rehabilitation of sports facilities that are already dated, especially the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the Philsports Complex.
“While we work on the passage of the bill that will kickstart the construction of a state-of-the-art Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center, we urge our sports authorities to speed up the development and rehabilitation of our sports facilities,” said Angara, principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill 1716, which is now pending on second reading.
The lawmaker said that by creating and establishing the Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center, our 800 national athletes and 300 coaches will have a new, decent and a much-needed home and venue for elite training, at par with international standards.