In a resolution filed recently, Senator Bong Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, expressed his congratulations to members of the Philippine team for their commendable performance in the 19th Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.
Senate Resolution No. (SBN) 825 acknowledges the athletes’ achievements and their contribution in bringing honor to the country in the international stage.
Go was in Hangzhou, China to show his full support to Philippine athletes competing in the Asian Games and was even able to witness some of the live competitions.
“I assure all our competing and aspiring athletes that I am fully committed to support your journey, and will continue to invest in your development,” the legislator said.
One of the most notable achievements was that of the national basketball team, “Gilas Pilipinas,” which captured the country’s first men’s basketball gold medal since 1962.
“This achievement was marked by their stunning victory over host China in the semifinals, followed by an impressive triumph against Jordan in the finals,” the lawmaker stated in the resolution.
Ernest John Obiena also secured the country’s first gold medal in the games.
Obiena was the sole athlete to clear the 5.75m mark in pole vaulting, thereby earning the gold medal and establishing a new Asian Games record of 5.90m.
In the realm of martial arts, Margarita ‘Meggie’ Ochoa and Annie Ramirez won gold medals in the women’s 48kgs and 57kgs Jiu-Jitsu competitions, respectively.
“Their win has not only brought honor and glory to our nation, but also has also become an inspiration to the youth and for the promotion of women empowerment.”
“Their win has not only brought honor and glory to our nation, but also has also become an inspiration to the youth and for the promotion of women empowerment,” the resolution read, leaving no doubt about the significance of their victories.
The country also had a strong showing in wushu and boxing, with Arnel Mandal winning a silver medal in the men’s 56kg wushu event and Eumir Felix Marcial securing silver in the men’s 80kg boxing category.
The bronze medalists were no less impressive, spanning a range of sports from taekwondo, where Patrick King Perez won in men’s individual poomsae, to tennis, where Alexandra Eala earned medals in both women’s singles and mixed doubles alongside Francis Casey Alcantara.
Other bronze medalists included Jones Llabres Inso in wushu’s men’s taijiquan / taijijian all-around, Gideon Fred Padua and Clemente Tabugara Jr. also in wushu, Patrick Bren Coo in men’s BMX racing, Elreen Ann Ando in women’s 64kg weightlifting, and Sakura Alforte in women’s individual kata in karate.
The men’s quadrant and regu teams in sepak takraw also contributed to the bronze medal tally. The Sepak takraw Men’s Regu Team consisted of Jason Huerte, Rheyjey Ortouste, Ronsited Cabayeron, Mark Joseph Gonzales, and Jom Lerry Rafael. The Sepak takraw Quadrant team was also composed of Jason Huerte, Mark Joseph Gonzales, Rheyjey Ortouste, Ronsited Gabayeron, Jom Rafael, and Vince Torno
The country finished 17th in the medal table, bagging four golds, two silvers, and 12 bronze medals.
This performance marks an improvement from the previous Asian Games in Indonesia, where the country secured an identical number of gold and silver medals but three fewer bronze medals.
“Bilang Chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, taos-puso tayong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng ating mga manlalaro, coaches, national sports associations at mga staff, gayundin sa Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission at iba pang ahensya, kasama na lalo ang tulong ng pribadong sektor, na nagtrabaho para suportahan ang ating delegasyon,” Go earlier said.
“Manalo man o matalo, ang importante ay magkaisa tayo.”
“Pinupuri natin ang ating mga manlalaro na ibinibigay ang lahat para itaas ang bandila ng Pilipinas sa ginaganap na kumpetisyon. Manalo man o matalo, ang importante ay magkaisa tayo at ipamalas ang puso ng Pilipino na lumalaban hanggang dulo,” the senator added.
As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, he has earlier advocated for increased funding for the country’s sports programs.
Go revealed that last year’s proposed budget for the Philippine Sports Commission was approximately P200 million.
However, he together with fellow lawmakers pushed for an additional P1 billion, thereby significantly enhancing the financial support for athletes in international competitions.
“Dahil dito, nakapagbigay tayo ng pinansyal na suporta para sa mga atletang lumahok sa mga international competitions,” Go added.
This move paved the way for the provision of financial support for athletes participating in international competitions, including the recent 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia and Asian Games in China.
He also emphasized the importance of grassroots sports development, saying, “Tinututukan din natin ang grassroots sports development upang mahubog ang mga kabataan nasaan man sila sa bansa na nagnanais na sumabak sa mga pambansa at pandaigdigang palaro.”
In line with this, Go highlighted his role as author and co-sponsor of Republic Act 11470, which established the National Academy of Sports in New Clark City, Tarlac.
“Ang NAS ay nagbibigay ng de-kalidad na edukasyon at sports training sa mga batang may potensyal na maging world-class athletes,” he added.
Additionally, Go filed SBN 423, or the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act, to institutionalize a national platform for athletes, especially the youth, to showcase their talents if enacted into law.
“More importantly, promoting sports will help mold our youth to be productive citizens and keep them away from vices like illegal drugs. As I have always said, ‘get into sports, stay away from drugs, and keep healthy and fit!’,” he concluded.