A cut of more than P100 million on the National Academy of Sports’ (NAS) operations budget will hamper the recruitment of student-athletes, Senator Win Gatchalian flagged.
Gatchalian pointed to the looming cut during the Senate Committee on Finance’s hearing on the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Education (DepEd) and its attached agencies, including the NAS System, which seeks to develop the athletic skills and talents of students in world class facilities at par with international standards.
“I know that NAS is trying to grow itself and attract more students. But of course, the cut will not enable the academy to attract students, especially from the countryside,” Gatchalian said during the hearing.
Under the proposed 2023 National Expenditure Program (NEP), P88,113,000 was allocated to the Sports-Integrated Secondary Education Program for the promotion, development, and implementation of quality and enhanced sports-integrated secondary education program. This is P104,471,000 lower than the P192,584,000 allotted under the 2022 General Appropriations Act.
According to NAS Executive Director Professor Josephine Reyes, the cut in the Sports-Integrated Secondary Education Program would affect students’ participation in sports competitions, scholarships, meals, nutritional supplements, and standard expenses needed by students, among others.
Gatchalian is a co-author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11470, which created the NAS System. The NAS System is mandated to implement a quality and enhanced secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports. It will offer full scholarships to natural-born Filipino citizens with considerable potential in sports.
The NAS curriculum seeks to help student-athletes excel in their respective sports or pursue their chosen careers.
The law also seeks the establishment of nationally-funded regional high schools for sports to boost the development of young athletes in other parts of the country.
“Sa pamamagitan ng National Academy of Sports, mabibigyan natin ng kinakailangang suporta ang ating mga atleta. Kaya naman titiyakin natin na makakapaglaan tayo ng sapat na pondo upang mahikayat natin ang mas maraming kabataan na maging mga atleta at mabigyan natin sila ng dekalidad na edukasyon,” Gatchalian said.