Senator Sonny Angara has refiled a bill creating a high school for sports which is envisioned to serve as a breeding ground of future world-class Filipino athletes.
Angara, a sports enthusiast, said training of athletes should start at an early age and with proper financial support.
He said the Philippines will win its first Olympic gold medal and will have the first Filipino player in big leagues like National Basketball Association if the country will take seriously the training of athletes.
“We are all waiting for the day when we will be able to watch more of our homegrown athletes competing at the world stage and seeing them bring home glory for the country,” Angara said.
Under his Senate Bill 330, Angara is seeking the creation of a Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS), an educational institution dedicated to developing budding young athletes while providing them with quality secondary education.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his last State of the Nation Address, backed the creation of a national academy for sports for high school students.
Angara said the establishment of a PHSS will help the country in coming up with a deeper pool of athletes for its national teams.
In the 17th Congress, Angara worked for the approval of Republic Act 11214, which created the Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC).
Under the supervision of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the PSTC will have training facilities for Olympic sports and other sports activities deemed necessary by the PSC.
Unlike the PSTC, the proposed PHSS will provide student athletes with the same quality education as regular high schools but with special emphasis on developing athletic skills of the students through subjects pertaining to physical education and sports development.
The objective of the bill is to prepare “students who have shown their early potential of excelling in sports for a sports-related career while undergoing quality secondary education.”
Admission to the PHSS, including the grant of scholarships, will be on the basis of “try outs” and other examinations as determined by the school’s board of trustees.
In crafting the bill, Angara noted how public school students are at a disadvantage compared to their private school counterparts in terms of exposure to sporting activities, “not only because PE is treated as a separate academic subject, but also because of the active development of varsity teams that participate in inter-school leagues across the country.”
Angara was also author and sponsor of Republic Act 10699, which increased the cash incentives and expanded the benefits given to winning athletes, coaches, and trainers.