To further give support to Filipino athletes in their journey towards bagging a medal in international competitions, such as the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games hosted by the Philippines, Senator Bong Go urged all Filipinos to unite under one vision, “One Team, One Goal, Go for the Gold!”

“Just like a sports team, all of us who are deeply passionate with sports must have unity and teamwork,” Go shared in his speech at the recent Philippine Professional Sports Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center organized by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB).

“We must share ideas and pool our resources so that we can help professional Filipino athletes bag the gold in international competitions and hone the skills of our young athletes who show promise,” the legislator added.

“The output of the said summit will be used as a basis to improve the current situation of Philippine sports.”

In an ambush interview, the lawmaker shared that the output of the said summit will be used as a basis to improve the current situation of Philippine sports in the country, especially in terms of benefits for the country’s athletes.

“Sabi ko nga, after their output dito sa summit, isumite nila sa amin,” the senator said. “As legislator, handa po akong tumulong, at hindi lang po ‘yun, as a bridge to the President, kung papaano matutulungan ng executive ang ating mga atleta, professional or amateur, willing po akong tumulong sa kanila (para) mabigyan po ng mga benepisyo.”

He also emphasized that he recently filed Senate Bill (SB) 397 which seeks to create the National Academy of Sports for High School (NASHS), similar to Philippine National High School for the Arts and Philippine Science High School.

“The  NASHS is proposed to be built in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.”

In his speech, Go said that the NASHS is proposed to be built in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. The Senator is confident that the facility will hone the Filipino youth to become more productive members of society through sports development.

“Dahil malapit ang ipapatayong paaralan sa world-class facilities, mahahasang mabuti ang galing ng mga batang atleta habang nabibigyan sila ng magandang edukasyon,” he said.

As stated in the bill, NASHS “will serve as the premier training center to develop the athletic skills and talents of high school students,” with an initial proposed funding of P150 million.

Go also emphasized that the bill is intended for Filipino athletes “na pwedeng isabay ang kanilang pagti-training (and), at the same time, pag-aaral sa high school para makatapos sila ng pag-aaral, and they can proceed to college. At kung hindi naman sila tuloy na maging atleta ay tapos na sila sa pag-aaral at makapag-proceed na sila sa kanilang nais na kurso na kukunin pagdating sa kolehiyo.”

He assured the public that he already had talks with the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and other concerned agencies regarding the bill.

“Lahat sila ay positibo ang tugon,” Go stressed.

He also added that through the NASHS, “mas mabilis na nating maabot ang ating pangarap na maibalik ang pagiging sports powerhouse ng Pilipinas sa Asya.”

Go, who is a long-time basketball sports fan and player, shared how he has already supported the national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, in their FIBA World Cup bid and how he is determined to take further steps by supporting Filipino athletes in all sports.

“Alam na marahil ng marami sa inyo rito kung gaano ako kahilig sa basketbol at kung paano ko sinuportahan ang Gilas Pilipinas upang makapasok tayo sa FIBA World Cup. Ang suportang ito, gusto kong ibigay rin sa ibang sports,” he said.

“Kaya naman ang nais kong ibahagi sa inyo ngayon ay ang ilan sa aking mga ginagawa bilang boses ng mga Pilipino sa Senado at chairman ng Senate Committee on Sports,” Go added.

In addition, the Committee on Finance, where he is the chairperson of the Subcommittee F, has approved the proposed budgets of the PSC and GAB in the recent Senate hearing.

“The Senate had a hearing on the proposed 2020 budgets of PSC and GAB, and because I know that the two agencies deserve proper budget to execute their mandates well, I expressed my unequivocal support for their budgets,” Go said, adding that he fully supports the proposal of the two agencies as long as “lahat ay mapupunta para sa mga Pilipino at walang kahit ni isang sentimo na masayang o mapunta sa korapsyon.”

He was also elated to learn that PSC and GAB are on board when it comes to the campaign against illegal drugs by conducting drug tests whenever athletes renew their licenses.

“Natuwa ako nang malaman mula sa PSC at GAB kahapon na kapag nagre-renew ng license ang mga athlete, may isinasagawang test para malaman kung meron silang illegal drugs o performance-enhancing drugs sa katawan. Maganda siguro kung magsagawa rin ng random drug testing, hindi po ba?” he said.

Go, who has been the trusted aide of the President for more than two decades, is a staunch supporter of the anti-drug campaign and believes that these programs are for the betterment of the Filipino nation.

He vowed that he will continue to serve the people as both the bridge to President Rodrigo Duterte and a legislator. In fact, Go was largely instrumental in seeking financial assistance from Phoenix Petroleum to support Hidilyn Diaz in her bid for another medal finish in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Currently, he is also helping in the preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games that will be held in the country starting November 30.

“Todo suporta po ako sa lahat ng atleta natin na karapat-dapat tulungan,” Go said.


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