Some senators called for additional funds for the national athletes ahead of a busy 2021.
The call, led by Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, was made during the plenary session for the Philippine Sports Commission’s budget for next year.
“I think the budget is minuscule, and we need to support the athletes,” Zubiri, a former world champion in arnis, said.
He said he believes that the PSC, through the leadership of chairman Butch Ramirez, deserves a bigger budget.
“The chairman of the PSC does his best and he has done it with limited resources. But I must put on record Mr. President (Senate President Vicente Sotto III), the chairman of the PSC’s credibility is untainted in the last four years he has handled the PSC. Even the POC members have no question about his leadership in handling of funds,” Zubiri said. “I really truly appreciate the leadership of chairman Ramirez.”
Also expressing their support were senators Joel Villanueva, Nancy Binay, Francis Tolentino, and Sonny Angara, who sponsored the proposed PSC budget.
“I hope that we can do more for sports not only because we can win medals in the SEA Games or the Olympics, but because sports is such a unifying force. It gives so much hope to our countrymen and our people, especially for the young people of our nation,” Villanueva, a member of the University of Santo Tomas’ four-peat team in the UAAP during the mid-’90s said.
Reacting to the senators’ call, Ramirez said, “We are deeply touched by our senators’ support. We thanked them for recognizing the important role sports play in nation-building, as well as recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of our athletes.”
The PSC is now waiting for the ratification of the Congress version of the agency’s budget for both legislative chambers to convene for a bicameral committee.*PNA