Senator Bong Go articulated his deep sense of pride for Filipino athletes participating in the 19th Asian Games being held in Hangzhou City, China, from September 23 to October 8.
Go personally traveled to China to show his full support for the Philippine delegation.
The legislator also attended live competitions, including the recent match between Gilas Pilipinas and Iran at Zijingang Gymnasium, Zhejiang University on October 3.
“Nakapanood din tayo ng ilang live competitions, gaya na lang ng nakaraang laban ng Gilas Pilipinas kontra sa Iran,” the lawmaker said.
“Masarap talaga ang pakiramdam bilang isang Pilipino dahil muling nagwagi ang pambato natin sa basketball na Gilas Pilipinas,” the senator shared.
He expressed his appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to the athletes, coaches, national sports associations and staff, as well as the Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission and other agencies who worked hard to support the Philippine delegation.
“Taus-puso kong pinupuri at pinasasalamatan ang mga manlalaro nating ibinibigay ang lahat para itaas ang bandera ng Pilipinas sa ginaganap na kumpetisyon.”
“Bilang chair ng Senate Committee on Sports, taus-puso kong pinupuri at pinasasalamatan ang mga manlalaro nating ibinibigay ang lahat para itaas ang bandera ng Pilipinas sa ginaganap na kumpetisyon,” Go stressed.
Meanwhile, he also congratulated Gilas Pilipinas for their historic win over China in the semifinals on October 4, which secured their spot in the gold medal match against Jordan.
Go praised Justin Brownlee for his clutch performance that led the team to a stunning comeback from a 20-point deficit.
He lauded jiu-jitsu fighter Margarita “Meggie” Ochoa for winning the second gold medal for the Philippines on October 5. Ochoa defeated Balqees Abdulla of the United Arab Emirates in the final match of women’s -48 kg division. She joined pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena as the country’s gold medalists in this edition of the Asian Games.
“Samantala, ang boxer na si Eumir Marcial ay pasok na rin sa Asian Games finals matapos niyang ma-knockout ang Syrian boxer na si Ahmad Ghousoon sa men’s 80kg weight class nitong October 4. Dahil dito, haharapin ni Eumir sa finals si Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke ng China para sa gold medal. Pasok na rin si Eumir sa 2024 Paris Olympics,” Go also mentioned.
As vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, he has also been a strong advocate for increased funding for sports programs.
Go revealed that last year’s proposed budget for the Philippine Sports Commission was approximately P200 million. However, he 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,” he 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 the ongoing Asian Games in China.
Go 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, he highlighted his role as the author and co-sponsor of RA 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,” Go added.
Additionally, he filed SBN 423, or the Philippine National Games (PNG) Act, to institutionalize a national platform for athletes, especially the youth, to showcase their talents.
“Sa pamamagitan ng PNG, mas maraming talento ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na makilala at mapabilang sa ating mga national team.”
“Sa pamamagitan ng PNG, mas maraming talento ang mabibigyan ng pagkakataon na makilala at mapabilang sa ating mga national team,” Go said.
The senator also continues to support the implementation of sports clinics, community leagues, and the provision of sports equipment in rural areas. “Sabi ko nga palagi, ‘get into sports and stay away from drugs!'” he advised.
Go called on all Filipinos to continue supporting and praying for all athletes competing in the Asian Games and other competitions.
“Ang kanilang tagumpay ay tagumpay ng buong sambayanang Pilipino! Laban, Pilipinas! Ipakita natin ang puso ng Pilipino na lumalaban hanggang dulo!” he exclaimed.
“Go, go, go for the gold!” he cheered.