Press Release
September 15, 2023

Bong Go advocates for improved sports facilities in the grassroots to hone aspiring athletes and keep youth away from illegal drugs

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sports, emphasized the urgent need for improved sports facilities in communities nationwide during a budget hearing he presided on as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance on Monday, September 12.

As its budget's sponsor, Go highlighted the Philippine Sports Commission's (PSC) crucial role in the nation's grassroots sports development as he expressed deep concern over the state of existing sports infrastructure.

"Napapansin ko ang mga pasilidad na pinakita kanina. Talagang kailangan po, the more we should invest sa mga sports facilities natin at huwag hayaang masira," Go said.

Go also urged the government to refocus resources for the construction of training facilities and comfortable housing for athletes instead of allocating funds on flood control projects located in areas with little to no population.

"Bigyan naman natin ng maayos at komportable na tirahan ang ating mga atleta. Nananawagan ako sa DPWH, instead of flood control projects sa mga lugar na walang tao, dito na lang sa ating mga atleta na kailangan nila ng komportableng tirahan man lang. Baka pwede ninyo mapaglaanan ng pondo," said Go.

He specifically mentioned the need for repairs at the Philippine Institute of Sports Multi-Purpose Arena (PhilSports Arena) in Pasig City, opened in 1985, and the provision of comfortable barracks for athletes.

Go also expressed his strong belief that sports can serve as a deterrent for the youth against engaging in illegal drugs and other harmful activities.

"Sabi ko nga, get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs to keep us healthy and fit. At isa rin po ang sports sa paraan na ilayo natin ang mga kabataan sa iligal na droga. Isang paraan ito na maipagpatuloy ang kampanya ni dating pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na labanan ang iligal na droga dahil kapag bumalik po ang iligal na droga, babalik po ang kriminalidad, babalik po ang korapsyon sa gobyerno," Go said.

As author and co-sponsor of Republic Act No. 11470, Go has already made significant legislative contributions to Philippine sports. The act led to the establishment of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. Developed in coordination with the PSC and the Department of Education, NAS offers a specialized secondary education program focused on sports.

"Pwede silang mag-training, at the same time, mag-aral. Pwede silang mag-aral, at the same time, mag-training. Wala pong masasakripisyo. 'Yan po ang National Academy of Sports, batas na po at may sariling pasilidad," he said.

Last year, Go was present at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC) in Bagac, Bataan. He earlier pushed for funding for site development and preparation of the Master Development Plan of PSTC.

In previous years, he has also been instrumental in securing funding for a variety of world-class sports facilities across the Philippines.

In Luzon, the senator has also advocated for the Bustos Multipurpose Sports Facility in Bulacan, a comprehensive training ground that will include a tennis court, a swimming pool, and multiple indoor courts for various sports. Furthermore, the Oval Sports Facility in Limay, Bataan is designed to host both local and regional sports events and will include a standard-sized football field and a running track.

In Taytay, Rizal, Go supported a project turning an old dumpsite into a sports complex. The five-hectare area will feature an open athletic field, Olympic-size pools, and covered basketball courts, aligning with the local government's development plans. In Laguna, the Siniloan Sports Complex aims to serve as a community hub for various sports activities, including a football field, a running track, and indoor sports facilities.

Other construction or expansion of sports facilities were also supported by Go in Ifugao, Tarlac, Ilocos Sur, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and key cities in Metro Manila.

In the Visayas, enhanced sports facilities were pushed through the support of Go, including in Cebu, Bohol and Samar. Unique in its focus is the skatepark as well as a Pentathlon Facility in Ormoc City, Leyte, which will cater to niche sports like pentathlon and will feature a dedicated fencing hall.

Not to be left behind, Mindanao is also pushing for better sports facilities such as in Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Tawi-Tawi, Davao Oriental and Davao de Oro, while Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental are nearing the completion of their respective sports centers.

Go was also instrumental in pushing for the Datu Abdullah Sangki Sports Complex in Maguindanao, which is said to be the largest sports complex in South Central Mindanao, featuring a grand stadium, various courts, and an administrative building.

In Marawi City, Go also supported the ongoing construction of the Sarimanok Sports Complex and Marawi Convention Center as vital community hubs. The sports complex will have a 3,700-seat stadium and multiple sports courts, while the convention center will offer a 1,000-guest auditorium and exhibit area. Both are seen as avenues for uniting the Maranao community post-Marawi siege.

In Dapa town in Siargao Island, the Sports and Tourism Complex is another noteworthy facility that Go advocated for. Spanning 6.3 hectares, it can accommodate up to 1,632 people and is equipped with various sports courts, a dormitory for student-athletes, and a convention center once completed.

Go said athletes should be fully supported in all aspects, from their training environment to their living conditions and even their nutrition.

"Kailangan na sigurong magkaroon ng repair, at yung mga barracks ng atleta, dapat komportable, dahil iba talaga kapag suportado sila, mula pagkain, yung kanilang tirahan at bago sila sumabak sa competition, dapat kumbaga lahat ng laban naman ay dapat alagang-alaga po ang ating mga atleta," he said.

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