Senator Win Gatchalian said that the New Clark City Sports Complex will not be a waste after the staging of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the country, while seeking to establish a national high school fully dedicated to Philippine sports that will later use these facilities.
Gatchalian, co-author and sponsor of Senate Bill 1086 or the Philippine High School for Sports Act of 2019, wants the creation of Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) that will develop athletic skills through physical education and sports development subjects. With the proposed school, promising students will receive quality secondary education while preparing for a sports-related career.
The bill also seeks to create world-class sports facilities and amenities in New Clark City. Under the proposed measure, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will be in charge of providing land and the construction of classrooms, dormitories, sports facilities, and other related amenities.
“These SEA Games facilities complement our proposed high school and facilities for young and promising athletes. Hindi ito masasayang dahil pakikinabangan ito ng ating mga manlalaro,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
Gatchalian also said that the construction of the New Clark City is another step to giving Filipino athletes the financial, infrastructural, and policy support that athletes need for a stellar performance in the international stage.
“Sports have a fundamental role in bringing national pride and unity, especially when Filipino athletes win in international competitions. But for our athletes to reach a level of excellence, we need to put support mechanisms in place such as accessible, world-class training facilities,” he said.
Gatchalian likened such principles to the honor his colleague Senator Manny Pacquiao has brought to the country.
“In order to reach that level of excellence, we need to put mechanisms and fundamentals in place. Hindi naman ho automatic na ipinanganak iyan na maging Manny Pacquiao. Hindi naman ho automatic naging Manny Pacquiao si Manny Pacquiao. He had to undergo rigid training, he had to get enough support from government as well as from the sports community and he had to endure a lot of hardships in order to reach that level”, Gatchalian pointed out.
Aside from the PHSS, the lawmaker emphasized that the facilities in New Clark City will also provide the space for training our athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“Our athletes don’t become world-class performers overnight. Through this high school for sports and the sports hub that will be available for its students, potential athletes will receive government and community support at the earliest possible stage,” Gatchalian exclaimed.
“And we really hope that we have more Manny Pacquiaos out there because whenever Manny Pacquiao enters into the arena, he does not only bring the name of Manny Pacquiao, but he brings the national flag with him and iyon po iyong nakikita ng buong mundo”, he concluded.