Big investments in Filipino athletes linked to Olympic record medal haul — Palace

Published August 10, 2021, 6:39 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Duterte administration has poured bigger investments to improve the welfare of Filipino athletes compared to the past government that contributed to their enhanced performance in recent Tokyo Olympics, Malacañang asserted Tuesday, August 10.

President Rodrigo Duterte salutes the Filipino boxers who won medals in the Tokyo Olympics during a virtual courtesy call upon their arrival at the Manila airport on August 9, 2021. (Malacañang)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Duterte government allocated 223 million for the Philippine Sports Commission in its first full year, compared to the 168 million given by the previous administration’s first year.

Roque sought to defend an earlier claim that the the country’s record haul of four Olympic medals was made possible partly due to the government’s resources spent on local sports development.

“Sa last year naman po ng nakaraang administrasyon, ang budget sa sports ay 186 million – ito po iyong nakaraan ‘no. Pero sa last year po ng taong 2021, ang budget po na ibinigay ng Duterte administration sa sports ay 1.3 billion. Huwag na po natin isama siguro iyong 5.3 billion na ginasta natin noong 2019 dahil nga po sa Southeast Asian Games (In the last year of the past administration, the budget for sports was P186 million. But last year, the Duterte administration set aside a budget of 1.3 billion. Let’s not include the 5.3 billion spent in 2019 for the Southeast Asian Games),” he said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, August 10.

“So nakikita ninyo na po ha, mayroon po talaga direct correlation doon sa halaga na ini-invest natin sa sports at iyong mga nagiging performance ng ating mga atleta (So you can see there is really a direct correlation between the amount we invest in sports and the performance of our athletes),” he added.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque presents a table of rising budget allocation for the Philippine Sports Commission from 2010 to 2021 during a televised press briefing on August 10, 2021. (Photo from OPS)

Roque said the government spent funds to build world-class facilities such as the Athletic Stadium and Aquatics Center in New Clark City, Tarlac.

“Ito po’y talagang mahalagang investments hindi lang po sa imprastruktura kung hindi ito po ay investment sa ating tinatawag na human capital, ang ating mga atleta (These are important investments not only on infrastructure but also on human capital, our athletes),” he said.

Roque earlier said it was no coincidence the country achieved its best Olympic performance in the recent Tokyo Games after the administration invested heavily on the athletes’ welfare.

The Philippines earned its first-ever Olympic gold medal after Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won in the 55-kilogram competition at the recently-concluded Tokyo Games. Boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam brought home silver medals while fellow boxer Eumir Marcial clinched a bronze medal.