Allocating a measly P1.3 billion for the Philippine Sports Commission, which is P17.8 billion lower than the budget for an anti-communist task force, cannot qualify Malacanang to a pat on the back for the historic feat of Filipino athletes in the recently-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Opposition stalwart Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela Women’s Partylist aired this opinion as she slammed presidential spokesperson Harry Roque for claiming that the Duterte administration had “heavily invested” on Philippine sports that it yielded several medals in the Tokyo Games.
“Hindi coincidence na we had the best ever performance in the Olympics, including our first gold medal ever, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte. Figures will bear me out, talaga naman pong nagtanim at nag-pinvest ang Pangulo sa ating mga atleta (the President really invested on our athletes),” Roque said.
Roque did not cite figures to back up his claim but Brosas did.
“The funding for Philippine Sports Commission for 2021 amounted to just P1.3 billion — a far cry from the P19.1 billion for the NTF-ELCAC,” said Brosas, referring to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.
“We are deeply disgusted by the Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque’s claim that the historic feat of Filipino Olympians in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics is brought about by the Duterte government’s alleged investment in our athlete,” she said.
Brosas added: “We are not surprised by the Palace’s shameless credit-grabbing, but we will never let this statement pass especially when most of our athletes had to beg for help from the private sector just to fund their training.“
The partylist solon recalled that Hidilyn Diaz, who recently won a gold medal for weightlifting, “was even tagged in the Palace ‘matrix’ just because she asked for support from the government.” “The audacity of this government to take credit but can’t own up to their mistakes.
Our advice to the Duterte administration: tama na ang pagbubuhat ng bangko dahil hindi naman kayo kasali sa weightlifting competition (stop bragging because you were not even contenders in weightlifting),” said Brosas.
“The only statement that we need to hear is a sincere apology to the athletes from the government for not being able to provide them with financial support when they needed it the most,” she stressed.