by Nick Giongco
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will be at the forefront of the completion of the the national training center whose primary role is to elevate the competitive level of the Filipino athlete.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing into law of RA 11214 (Philippine Sports Training Center) will be a “tremendous motivator” not only for the athletes but to the entire nation.
“It will have a ripple effect,” said Ramirez after formal rites held Wednesday at Malacanang as the soon-to-be-built training center will finally replace the 85-year-old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila that is no longer conducive to training.
The venue of the training center will be decided in the coming months after a series of consultations and meetings with the Senate and Congress as a committee will be formed to handle the matter.
“The venue will not be the choice of a senator or any other because will deliberate on this,” said Ramirez, who could not help but express amazement over the landmark move by the Duterte administration to address the needs of the athletes.
“This is going to be a legacy,” said Ramirez, who had followed Malacanang’s directive to the letter since Day One of his appointment.
Sen. Richard Gordon was also hats off to the signing of the PSTC.
“That’s a very good step when the President endorses something like that, a gamechanger if you will,” said Gordon, adding that its creation was a long time coming.
“It’s about time we take care of the athletes, give them the wherewithal because anywhere in the world, athletes must be given the attention, training and support,” added Gordon.
1Pacman party-list REP. Mikee Romero likewise hailed its signing, stressing that its establishment will finally ensure the athletes of full government backing.
“It’s a dream come for our national athletes because in two years time they will have a modern sports facility that is at par with some of the best in the world,” said Romero.
“Certainly, this is one of the landmark sports projects under the administration of President Duterte,” added Romero, who also drew premium support from fellow lawmakers Bambol Tolentino of Tagaytay and Manny Lopez of Manila.
Tolentino and Lopez were all praises for the PTSC, which is being seen as the remedy to the ills of Philippine sports.
Ramirez said Malacanang has approved the budget of P3.5-billion and it will cater to 39 sports, Olympic and non-Olympic.
Lopez, formerly the boxing association head, pointed out that the choice of venue should consider elevation as a big factor.
“High-altitude training should be given priority because if you train at an elevation, you build up on stamina and endurance,” said Lopez, noting that southern Luzon has several ideal sites.