By Dennis Principe
In their own way, kids from the south might be doing something that could lead to lasting peace which the people there have longed to attain.
Now on its third year, “TM Football para sa Bayan” has been to many parts of the country, particularly in strife-torn areas in Mindanao.
Apart from its achievement of enticing kids to play and learn the sport, football has also proven to be an effective way in making politics and ideologies among warrying factions almost automatically take a backseat.
“Our program is not exclusive for poverty-stricken and talented kids. In fact, we learned from our partners that rebels in Mindanao have encouraged their kids to join our program and we have gladly accepted them,” said Globe citizenship manager Rofil Sheldon Magto.
Despite the prevailing situation, especially in Marawi, Magto assured the safety and security of participants and officials as they aim to spread the ‘beautiful game.’
“I am from Cagayan de Oro and I know, despite the conflict going on in one area, there is no chaos in the entire region. Still, we are partnering with the Philippine Marines who are actually eager to help this program as they themselves encourage their kids and children of rebels as well to join and play football,” said Magto.
During a press launching, chief corporate backer Globe announced the partnership with leading content and consumer company in Southeast Asia, Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (Astro) and its regional over-the-top (OTT) streaming service Tribe for the second straight year.
The tie-up will again allow talented Filipino kids to get a chance to undergo the Astro Kem Bola Advanced Training Program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and, potentially, the Overseas Training Camp in Barcelona, Spain by coaches from FC Barcelona Football Academy (FCBEscola) later this year.