Legislators are looking for ways to pour money into the Philippine Sports Commission so it can work harder at developing the local athletes and prepare them for competitions here and abroad.
ENCOURAGED by the gold, silver and bronze that the Philippine team reaped in the last Tokyo Olympics, legislators are now busy identifying fund sources to pour into the Philippine Sports Commission so it can work harder at developing the local athletes and prepare them for competitions here and abroad.
Laguna Representative Len Alonte, ex officio member of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development, filed House Bill No. 10270 or the Sports Finance Act of 2021 to address the perennial fund problems of PSC that resulted in weak support to the athletes through the years.
In the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Philippines garnered 1 gold, 2 silvers, and a bronze, despite “less- than- ideal funding” to the Philippine sports programs.
Alonte is confident Filipino athletes can perform even better given enough support from grassroots recruitment, preparatory training, to actual competition.
Lawmakers of the past tied down a major funding source of the PSC to the sweepstakes draws of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
The sweepstakes have since become obsolete and is now just a shadow of what it once was.
This bill seeks to correct that lapse by updating the PCSO funding provision on the lottery games.
This bill also increases the funds of the PSC by allocating to the National Sports Development Fund the following:
1.10 percent of the Motor Vehicle Users’ Tax;
2.5 percent of the online cockfighting (e-sabong) regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR);
3.5 percent of all taxes collected on imported athletic equipment.
Furthermore, this bill specifically empowers the PSC to explore, negotiate and secure foreign grants and technical assistance to augment the National Sports Development Fund, in coordination with the Department of Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority.
Finally, this bill introduces the multi-year funding concept into the budgeting and finance of the PSC.
Sportsman and Senator Manny Pacquiao, who declared interest in running for the presidency, has filed Senate Bill 1306 two years ago a bill creating a 5-member boxing commission. The bill got a unanimous vote of 20-0.
The Senate’s Legislative Bills and Index Service told Rappler on Monday that it was the first bill solely sponsored by Pacquiao that was approved.
Pacquiao’s longest fight
It was an uphill battle for the world-renowned fighter.
He may be an expert boxer but clearly not yet on the Senate floor.
Pacquiao filed the bill on June 30, 2016, the first day of the 17th Congress. It was then referred to his committee on sports. Six months after, in January 2017, Pacquiao submitted and then sponsored a committee report.
The discussions on the bill resumed on August 1, 2018 – more than two years after he filed it – with Drilon finally agreeing to close the period of interpellations.
The bill seeks to create a 5-member commission, attached to the Office of the President, that would formulate and implement a national policy on the development, safety, and welfare of Filipino professional boxers and combatants.
The bill expanded coverage to provide support for other professionals engaged in other “combat sports” aside from boxing.
Under the bill, professional boxers and combatants will be enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS), National Health Insurance Program-Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-ibig).
“We are aware that some have met their untimely death due to the lack, if not absence, of safety and emergency medical services while others face retirement without any kind of financial assistance or access to medical care,” Pacquiao said.
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