By NIKOLE JAVIER
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Noli Eala has laid out the framework that the agency intends to work on for a requested budget increase for 2023 along with an “aggressive” funding program to seek additional assistance from the private sector.
From the initial P700 million, the PSC has now requested a budget increase of P5.2 billion in Congress, which will cover the grassroots sports programs for the youth and “high-performing” national athletes.
“Unang una, hindi nga pwedeng bawasan, in fact, ang aming hiningi ay mahigit limang bilyon na. So talagang nadagdagan na. I can only appeal to the Congress. Again, I know that there are many members of the Congress that are supportive of sports,” said Eala during the PSC-NSA consultative meeting held Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
“Having said that, I think with the way we have presented it to them, and of course, with the genuine program that we are showing them, I am hopeful, optimistic that Congress will support our request.”
The big portion of the proposed fund, pegged at P3.5 billion, will go for the construction of the Philippine Sports Training Center as required by Republic Act No. 11214 that was passed in 2019.
Eala, who took the PSC post two months ago, also gratified President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.'s administration who is “very much supportive of sports.”
With “a daunting task” ahead, Eala has not only sought the support of Congress, but also the private sector to provide the utmost beneficial support for the athletes as well as the sustainable programs lined up.
“In order to solicit the help of the private sector, we need to have a genuine and sustainable sports program and this, what we are building, hope to present to the private sector. As we speak, I have already talked to some very generous donors,” Eala added.