House panel OKs funding for financial assistance to young athletes

Published August 18, 2021, 1:50 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

The House committee on appropriations on Wednesday approved the substitute measure seeking to assist young athletes in the country by providing programs and financial incentives towards their development.

The House panel approved in particular, the substitute bill for House Bill No. 5808 or the proposed “Young Athletes Assistance Act,” which was filed by Siquijor Rep. Jake Vincent Villa.

The bill primarily seeks to build up young promising athletes whom the lawmaker said are the future of the nation’s sports program.

“The possibility of competing in the higher stages such as the Olympics is possible. As such, there is a need to train and develop our athletes at the earliest stages of their exposure to certain sports and at a very young age,” Villa stated in the bill.

“it is imperative for the nations sports program to start by helping our young athletes to develop and hone their skills,” he said.

The bill also seeks to include young athletes with disabilities in preparation for their future participation in Paralympics.

Last Monday, Aug. 16, the House ways and means committee approved the substitute bill that seeks exempt the incentives, rewards and emoluments received by national athletes and their coaches who have brought honor to the country in international competitions.

Known as the proposed “Hidilyn Diaz Act”, the substitute bill would be formally filed as the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.”

House ways and means committee chair Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said this is to recognize not only Diaz who won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics but also other athletes who won in the international games together with their coaches and trainors.