HOR COMPLEX, Quezon City (DWDD) – The House committee on youth and sports development recently approved a proposal to provide the best possible training opportunities for national athletes to excel in international competitions by creating a National Sports Training Center in the country.
The unnumbered substitute bill, also known as the “National Sports Training Act,” is a consolidation of House Bill Nos. 535, 545, 1907 and 3447 authored, respectively, by Reps. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga (2nd District, Compostela Valley), Mark Aeron Sambar (Party-list, PBA), Bellaflor Angara-Castillo (Lone District, Aurora) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan).
The committee chaired by Rep. Conrado Estrella III (Party-list, ABONO) earlier created a technical working group (TWG) composed of members of the panel and headed by Rep. Michael Romero (Party-list,1-PACMAN) to consolidate the four bills.
“I believe the TWG was able to accommodate its task and the committee members were able to receive copies of their hard work,” Estrella said during the meeting prior to the congressional adjournment.
The bill seeks the creation of the “National Sports Training Center” at the Clark Green City located within the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) in Pampanga.
The establishment of the sports complex is in line with the policies of the State to: promote and develop elite sports in the country; achieve excellence in the international sports competitions; ensure success in its quest for Olympic medals; and promote international amity among nations.
Gonzaga said the present training centers being used by national athletes are outdated and in poor condition.
“The athletes train day in and day out but despite their efforts, winning in international competitions has always been an uphill battle,” Gonzaga said.
Gonzaga further said the absence of modern and scientific facilities to boost the athletes’ skills and potentials is seen as a major liability.
Sambar said with the establishment of the sports complex, the national athletes and coaches will have a new, decent and much-needed venue for elite training that is at par with international standards.
For Angara-Castillo, the establishment of the National Sports Training Center will not only give a tremendous boost to the morale of the national athletes but also instill national pride and foster patriotism among Filipinos.
Primicias-Agabas believes if the government will only provide and support a comprehensive training and development of the athletes, the youth will be more inspired to get involved in sports and excel in their chosen field.
As provided in the bill, the National Sports Training Center or Training Center shall serve as the official venue of training for the athletes in the national team whose events are included in the list of sports contemplated in the Act.
The Training Center shall also serve as the official home of the national athletes who belong to the sports as enumerated in the proposal.
It shall also be the center for sports science and research development as well as venue for the training of coaches and referees, among others.
Included in the Training Center are sports facilities and amenities for the 32 Olympic sports and other non-Olympic sports.
These are aquatic, archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards and snookers, BMX and cycling, bowling, boxing, chess, dancesport, equestrian, fencing, football, futsal, handball, gymnastics, judo, karatedo, lawn tennis, muay thai, pencak silat, petanque, rugby, shooting, softball, soft tennis, squash, table tennis, taekwando, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu.
The Training Center shall also have facilities and amenities for the administration building, dormitory for athletes, coaches and referees, sports and science building, dining hall, recreation hall, sports library, conference rooms, worship/medication room and medical and dental clinic.
The ownership of the Training Center, including its sports facilities and amenities, is vested upon the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Upon completion of the construction of sports facilities and amenities of the Training Center, the PSC is likewise vested with authority to administer, manage, operate and maintain the same including but not limited to administration of incidental income, security of the complex, assignment of personnel to manage and operate the complex.
The bill calls for the creation of a Board to expedite the implementation of establishing and constructing the Training Center and to ensure that all the safety standards and construction laws and other technicalities are complied with, including the requirements of international standards in building sports facilities.
The Board shall be composed of the Chairperson of the PSC as chairperson; the Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) as co-chairperson; and the President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the Chairpersons of the Senate Committee on Sports and the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development, the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the President of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and/or the President of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) as members of the Board.
Among the functions of the Board are to determine the specific location of the Training Center; acquire property; supervise the development, planning and design of facilities; ensure that safety and security standards are met; and ensure that funds are available to implement and complete the Training Center, among others.
The Board shall cease to exist within six months upon completion of the entire Training Center and its facilities.
The bill tasks the PSC to appoint or designate an Executive Director who shall direct and supervise the day-to-day operations of the Training Center.
The PSC may call upon any government agency for assistance in the: acquisition, including transfer of Title over the property where the Training Center will be located; planning and site development of the property; and management of the facilities that shall ensure the safety and security of the national athletes in the Training Center as well as in the implementation of its educational program.
The amount necessary for the establishment and construction of the National Sports Training Center, including its annual maintenance and operation and management, shall be included in the budget of the PSC in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Other authors of the bill are Reps. Rogelio D. Pacquiao (Lone District, Sarangani), Allen Jesse Mangaoang (Lone District, Kalinga), Cristina Roa-Puno (1st District, Antipolo City), Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo (1st District, Lanao del Norte), Manuel Luis Lopez (1st District, Manila), Dennis Laogan (Party-list, ANG KABUHAYAN), Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera (Party-list, MATA), Raneo Abu (2nd District, Batangas), Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. (1st District, Cebu), Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga), Abraham Tolentino (7th District, Cavite) and Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City). CONGRESS / MCAG