House okays bill creating National Academy for Sports

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading a measure creating the National Academy for Sports.

House Bill 631, which aims to boost the athletic potentials of young student athletes, got an overwhelming 206 votes.

To be called National Academy of Sports (NAS) System Act, the measure seeks to enhance the skills and talents of young Filipino students as promised by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano after the success of the country’s hosting of the 30th South East Asian (SEA) Games.

Under the proposed bill, the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac City, which hosts the 20,000-seat athletics stadium, the 2,000-seater aquatics center, and an athletes’ village, shall be the main campus of the NAS.

The NAS Board of Trustees shall have the power to approve grant of scholarships, stipends, and other allowances to deserving students based on the guidelines and implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.

“Sports is the best teacher of discipline. It instills passion, sacrifice, and patriotism among the youth and helps to bring positive transformation in the community. More importantly, it is a potent tool to prevent young children from getting addicted to illegal drugs,” Cayetano, the author of the bill, said.

Cayetano, who chaired the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee, added that the Philippines is now a step closer toward the development of a grassroots sports program.

HB 6312 aims to train high school students with strong athletic potentials in a specialized school that would serve as the premier training institution for world-class Filipino athletes and future sports heroes.

The NAS is mandated to implement initially a secondary education program combined with a special curriculum in sports. It shall be geared to the early recognition and development of highly-talented and exceptionally-gifted children in the field and be a continuing source of excellent athletes and sports leaders for the preservation and promotion of competitive sports in the country.

The creation of a National Academy for Sports is one of the priority bills mentioned by the President during his State of the Nation Address in July 2019.