Manila Bulletin

Bambol seeks ₱510 M more for elite sports


Philippine Olympic Committee president and Tagaytay City Rep. Bambol Tolentino sought an additional ₱510-million budget for elite sports in 2021 as the country seeks the elusive first gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

Tolentino said the fund would boost the country’s Olympic campaign.

“Tokyo could be that host city where the country could win not one, not two, but probably more Olympic gold medals in 2021. And along this line, the athletes need all the support in their bid to accomplish what has never been achieved before,” Tolentino said in an interpella­tion on the Philippine Sports Commission’s (PSC) proposed budget for 2021.

The PSC proposed the traditiona­l Department of Budget Management-endorsed ₱207 million budget for next year that is intended for the agency’s operations and personnel’s salaries.

The additional ₱510 million proposal also sought by the PSC will be allocated for Filipino athletes’ training and participat­ion for Olympic qualifiers and the Olympic Games.

“The PSC needs the full support of Congress — the House and Senate — because 2021 is the year when the Olympic gold medal beckons,” Tolentino said.

“I am confident that the elusive gold medal will be achieved in Tokyo,” he added.

According to PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, the ₱150 million from the ₱510-million proposal will be for the Tokyo Olympics campaign, while ₱100 million will be for the preparatio­n and participat­ion in the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.

The remaining ₱250 million will be allocated for the Asian Beach Games, Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games, Asian Youth Games, Asian Youth Para Games, SEA Para Games, Tokyo Paralympic­s and ASEAN Youth Games.

Tolentino said the SEAG is also on top of the priorities, as the country defends the overall title. Last year, Team Philippine­s won 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals.

Meanwhile, four sports discipline­s have been added in the calendar of events for the 31st Southeast Asian Games after the SEAG Federation Executive Committee gave its approval recently.

Allowed are esport, jiu jitsu, triathlon and bowling. Of the four, esports, jiu jitsu and triathlon accounted for 11 of the Philippine­s’ 149 gold medals in winning the overall SEAG title last year.

“It’s good for us,” Tolentino said in a message.

“We’re one of the countries that lobbied for it, we won gold medals in these sports during the last SEA Games here.”

Next year’s SEA Games is set November 21 to December 2 in Kuala Lumpur. (With a report from Waylon Galvez)


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