Press Release
October 1, 2018

Senate approves creation of PHL Amateur Sports Training Center

A state-of-the-art sports complex may soon be accessible for the country's athletes after the passage of a Senate bill on third and final reading today.

Senate Bill No. 1716, or the Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center Act, was sponsored and authored by Senator Manny Pacquiao, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, and was co-sponsored by Senator Sonny Angara.

Apart from Pacquiao and Angara, the bill was also authored by Senators Bam Aquino IV and Joel Villanueva. The bill was approved with 18 affirmative votes, no negative votes and zero abstention.

"We believe that it is high time that our athletes be given the state-of-the-art facilities needed for the nourishment of their talents. Now is the best opportunity for us to give the best support to our athletes," Pacquiao said.

The bill, he said, would mandate the creation of the "Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center," which is envisioned to be a "state-of-the-art and highly scientific sports complex."

"It will include facilities and amenities, which would include different equipment and courts necessary for bringing out the best in our athletes," Pacquiao said.

The training center would serve as the primary venue for the development of athletes in the National Team and its corresponding training pools. Likewise, the center would also be mandated to contribute to sports science and research, accommodate training of coaches and referees, and host local and international competitions.

"Research states that 'a viable environment and standard sports facilities' have a positive effect on the development of the performance of athletes and promotion of sports," Pacquiao said. Pacquiao said that such a training center would build Filipino athletes' competence and character, and would help bring the country to its dreams of dominating the South East Asian Games and bagging the gold medals in the Olympics.

"Our world-class athletes have been giving their best to shine in the global platform. However, our committed athletes have yet to show their fullest potentials. The Philippine government has so much to give in exchange of their relentless efforts. For one, we can provide a training center where they can develop their skills and their abilities," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao, a multi-awarded boxing champion, noted that at present, existing training facilities like the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the PhilSports Arena are already "out of date."

"When I did an ocular inspection of the Philippine Sports Commission compound, I have seen for myself the sad condition of the facility. It is disorganized. It is dilapidated and the facilities don't cater to the needs of our athletes. I am in grief to know that one of our young athletes for Wushu passed away after falling from the top bunk of a double-deck bed inside the athletes' dormitory at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila early Saturday morning, September 29" he said.

Pacquiao said that the 1987 Constitution itself states that "the State shall promote physical education and encourage sports programs, league competitions, and amateur sports, including training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork, and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry."

"Our athletes deserve better. They deserve our best efforts," he said.

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