Press Release
May 11, 2020

Bong Go commends ratification of 'National Academy of Sports' bicameral report; says measure will reinforce country's sports development

The Senate ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the National Academy of Sports (NAS) bill, on Monday, May 11. As one of its authors, the said bill is among the priority legislative measures filed by Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go during the 18th Congress.

"I would like to express my gratitude to this august chamber for coming together in support of this measure for the benefit of our youth and for the benefit of Philippine sports," Go said in his manifestation.

"Sa National Academy of Sports, finally, pwede na pong sabay, while nag-aaral pwedeng mag-training (ang ating mga atleta)," he added.

Prior to its ratification, the bill has been pending in the Senate for about ten years. With the support of different government agencies and stakeholders, Go is thankful that the bill he filed in the 18th Congress is now finally set to become a law.

"I firmly believe that with this measure, we will be able to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sports development," Go added.

The Senator expressed his gratitude to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, and the members of the Bicameral Conference Committee for their full support for the legislation. Members include Senators Pia Cayetano, Sonny Angara and Francis Tolentino, and Representatives Roman Romulo, Eric Martinez, Mark Go, Victor Yap, and France Castro.

According to the bill, the NAS system shall offer, on full scholarship basis, a secondary education to natural-born Filipino citizens with considerable potential in sports. The curriculum shall be designed to take into consideration the education and special training needs of the student-athletes and provide them with a holistic quality education to enable them to excel in their respective sports and likewise pursue their chosen profession or career.

As Senate Committee on Sports Chair, Go earlier expressed that he was prompted to file the bill due to the "undying support and love" of Filipinos for sports and their potential to excel in the field.

"It is only fitting that our people be rewarded with programs that would ensure the continued growth of our athletes who compete in both international and local competitions," Go said.

The Senator added that the NAS aims to "educate students who have shown their early potential to excel in sports for a sports-related career, even while undergoing quality secondary education."

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his support for the NAS during his 2019 State of the Nation Address, citing the piece of legislation as long overdue. Senator Go added that the establishment of the sports academy is in line with the President's campaign against illegal drugs, quoting him that "sports is truly an effective avenue to instill among the youth essential characteristics."

According to the bill, the main campus of the NAS shall be established at the existing New Clark City Sports Complex, Capas, Tarlac, and shall be equipped with the necessary sports facilities, housing, and other amenities according to current international standards. School buildings with sufficient number of classrooms and facilities shall also be constructed at the complex.

"I also would like to thank the Philippines Sports Commission, the Department of Education, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority for their commitment that shall allow us to hit the ground running once this measure is signed by President Duterte," Go acknowledged in his speech.

Senator Go said that the creation of the NAS has always been one of his advocacies as a sports enthusiast, while also adding that Filipino athletes need more platforms to improve their physical and mental well-being, especially during the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Malapit sa puso ko itong bill na ito dahil ako mismo ay sports enthusiast. Nakita ko ang need na bigyan ng suporta ang ating mga atleta para mag-excel tayo sa sports," Go said.

"This is a timely measure for our young and budding athletes, especially now we are going through a health crisis. Ngayong naghahanap tayo ng ways to move forward, sigurado ako na ang proposed NAS will help our youth improve their mental and physical well-being para mas maging malusog tayo bilang isang bansa," Go added.

Prior to the ratification of the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the National Academy of Sports, other laws authored by Go include Republic Act 11462 (Postponing the May 2020 Barangay and SK Elections), RA 11463 (Malasakit Centers Act), and RA 11466 (Salary Standardization Act).

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