FILIPINO athletes will soon have a state-of-the-art training facility after President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law establishing a highly scientific sports complex to be known as Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC).
“The signing of the measure into law is very significant because the last time the government constructed a sports training center was in 1934 when it built the Rizal Sports Coliseum which had been used since by national athletes for their training,” said Abono party-list Rep. Conrado Estrella III, chairman of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development.
Estrella, who shepherded the passage in the House of Representatives of the bill that the President has signed into law as Republic Act 11214, or the Act Establishing a Philippine Sports Training Center, added: “We really need to upgrade our national sports training center to hone the skills of our Filipino athletes. The construction of the PSTC will introduce modern-day training facilities, methods and techniques that will improve the standing and quality of our athletes who participate in global competitions.”
Estrella expressed his profound gratitude to the members of the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development for their active participation in the crafting of the measure and the leadership of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for their unwavering support for the passage of the PSTC bill.
“We also extend our sincerest thanks to Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, for successfully steering the approval of the counterpart PSTC bill in the Senate and senators led by Senate President Vicente Sotto and Senator Sonny Angara because, without their all out support, the enactment of this bill into law would not be possible,” the lawmaker said.
High commendation is also in order for the all out support extended by Philippine Sports Commission chaired by William “Butch” Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee President Ricky Vargas for their valuable inputs in drafting the measure.
The law requires the construction of necessary sports facilities and amenities within 18 months in a location that is suitable and conducive to high-level training of athletes, coaches, and referees.
“This law, in effect, will help in preventing Filipino youth from engaging in drug addiction, complementing the President’s anti-drug campaign,” Estrella said.
“We will also have a wider pool of amateur athletes with the creation of the PSTC,” he added.
The construction of the PSTC, which shall be managed by the Philippine Sports Commission, will have a budget of P3.5 billion.
“It is the policy of the State to promote and develop sports in the country, to achieve excellence in international sports competitions, to ensure success in the country’s quest to achieve competitiveness in the Olympic games and to promote international amity among nations,” the law states.
The PSTC will also serve as a sports science and research hub through the services of the Philippine Sports Institute.