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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Creation of Department of Sports pushed
Writer: Lorelei V. Castillo, Media Affairs and Public Relations Service
26 February 2016 07:02:23 AM

A lawmaker has filed a bill creating the Department of Sports to improve the state of Philippine sports.

Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles (1st District, Davao City) said House Bill 6440 intends to address the various challenges that confront Philippines sports.

It creates the Department of Sports, a cabinet-level agency to provide leadership in the promotion and development of sports in the country and set the parameters to address the needs of athletes, coaches, trainers and sports officials.

"It is now high time for the government to prioritize sports in the national agenda, and consider sports as an integral factor in nation building," Nograles said.

Republic Act 6847, otherwise known as the "Philippine Sports Commission Act," created the PSC in January 1990 to provide the leadership, formulate the policies and set the priorities and direction of all national amateur sports promotion and development, particularly giving emphasis on grass-roots participation.

It is also tasked to encourage wide participation of all sectors, government and private, in amateur sports promotion and development; and supplement government appropriations for sports promotion and development.

"After more than 20 years since the creation of the PSC, the state of Philippine sports appears to have worsened rather than improved. Since Mansueto Velasco won a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Philippines has not won a single medal in the succeeding editions of the Summer Olympics. Unfortunately, the experiences and the lessons in earning that victory was not sustained," Nograles said.

Nograles said the Philippines is rich in talent as can be proven by the many sports heroes that the country has produced in various sports disciplines. Filipinos, known for their passion for sports, have impressed foreign sports personalities and sports associations and federations with remarkable achievements, he added.

Nograles, chairman of the House committee on Labor and Employment, said the Department of Sports will be responsible for promulgating policies that will help the country improve its performance in international competitions.

"Equally important is its role in finding solutions to the problems besetting Philippine sports including the lack of a comprehensive national sports program, the need to enhance the partnership with various sectors involved in sports, obsolete training methods, lack of modern and high quality training facilities, equipment and sports venues," Nograles said.

The bill, to be known as the "Department of Sports Act," will define the powers and function of the new department with corresponding funding provisions. It abolishes the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

The bill likewise provides for the establishment of the Amateur Sports Development Bureau (ASDB), which shall be primarily responsible for the promotion, and development of amateur sports in the country. The Grassroots Sport Division and Local and National Sports Competition Division shall be established under the department.

The bill will also create the International Sports Development Bureau to be composed of the National Sports Association Affairs Division and the International Sports Competition Division.

The bill proposes P200 million funding to support the organizational and initial calendar year of operational expenditures of the new department.