Thursday, October 23, 2014

Editorial by Ernesto T. Solidum

Need For Philippine Comprehensive 
Sports Development Program

The Weekly Kapihan on October 18, 2014 discussed the topic, “Batang Pinoy 2014” at NVC Carmen Hotel. Guests are Atty. Jay Alano, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Franklin Quimpo, Sports Dev. Officer IV and Fred R. Neri, Sports Dev. Officer III.

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente noted the enthusiasm and dedication of Filipino youths in sports in whatever state they are in life. The Greeks who originated the Olympics in the 9th century are interested in fulfilling life time goal of a “sound mind in a sound body.” Majority of the sports programs is undertaken by former Department of Education Culture and Sports, but later dropped it after its re-organization to Department of Education (DepEd). This development may be positive for over burdened teachers. But for no sensible reason, sports is still managed by DepEd.

Presently, the schools especially in urban areas are crammed with buildings with no more vacant space for outdoor sports activities. Big concern is obesity, a serious health risk affecting children. This problem must be resolved once and for all by Agencies concerned.

Atty. Jay Alano said that Batang Pinoy is a grassroots, laderized program open to youths 15 years old and below. Philippine Sports Commission targets both in-school and out-of-school population. This is the first time Aklan will host Batang Pinoy Visayas to be held on October 20-24, 2014. There will be 28 delegations from Eastern, Central and Western Visayas who will compete in 21 sports events.

Hotly contested are archery, badminton, billiards, dance sports, sepak takraw, swimming and volleyball. Sport competition will be held on October 21-25 in selected venues in Kalibo, Banga, Numancia, Tangalan, Malinao, and Makato. The winners in these events will represent the whole Visayas block in the forthcoming National Batang Pinoy competition on December 13-19, 2014 to be held in Bacolod City.

“We want to insure that all players sponsored by their respective LGU’s be given equal opportunities to compete and excel in various disciplines. A total of P7.2 million from PSC and counterpart of P250,000 from the Office of the Provincial Governor have been released”, the PSC representative revealed.

Mr. Franklin Quimpo expressed confidence over the state of Aklan’s preparedness in hosting Batang Pinoy. Our registration date is October 19-20 and delegation will comprise the athletes, technical officials, LGU representatives and members of Tri-media. At least PSC has 3,000 foam mattresses available on first serve basis. Provincial preparations include lodging accommodation and food, medical team, ambulance and PNP security.

“Sports development is a total commitment of mind and body to excellence”, said Mr. Fred Neri who is National Chess Master. Windfall, aside from cash prizes and recognition are pursuit of education and employment. It is very important that this goal be set early in life, Neri added.

While the grassroots development program targets both in and out of school youth, about 90 percent will be students. Children coming from poor families do not have the luxury of engaging in sports since the 8-15 year old bracket are mostly breadwinners or employed as child laborers.
About 30 percent of Filipino children, aged 1-12, are suffering from malnutrition and that 1 out of 5 has acute malnutrition and in danger of brain damage according to research study of Food and Nutrition Research Institute.

This is corroborated by Philippine Development Studies that 1 out of 3 Filipino children is living in abject poverty with their families. The per capita threshold level for fisherfolks is 13.4 million hungry mouths who are concurrently given intervention by DepEd and non-government organizations like supplemental feeding program and basic nutrition education.

Dr. Vicente Belizario added that some 6 million or 72 percent of Filipino children have intestinal worms despite vigorous government drive through deworming program. The World Health Organization wants it reduced to 20 percent.

Given the bad economic and health background of our local athletes, there is nothing to expect from them but mediocrity. Even at the ASIAN games, the Philippines is at the lowest rung of the ladder with few harvest of gold, silver and bronze. Come to think of it. We are beaten by Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore by a wide margin. Do you know the basic reason? We don’t have a consistent sports development program. Band aid legislation does not hold water in this digital age.

It would be highly appreciated if congress enacts a law reorganizing the PSC into an Authority that would develop and implement a comprehensive sports program for all ages and covering amateur and professional athletes. At least by this scheme, the Philippines could start in the right direction. /MP

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