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Go lauds PRRD’s support for Filipino athletes; welcomes budget approval for National Sports Academy

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday lauded President Duterte for his approval to release the budget intended for the construction of the facilities and amenities of the National Academy of Sports (NAS) at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac.

The NAS, a government-run school for the country’s future athletes, will offer a secondary education program integrated with a special curriculum on sports for gifted young Filipinos who want to enhance their physical and mental capabilities in sports.

In his speech during the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing on the ‘deed of donation’ for the 25-hectare of land in Mariveles between the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and provincial government of Bataan on Tuesday, Go expressed his anticipation for the upcoming project for NAS.

“Pinirmahan na ni Pangulong Duterte ‘yung P729 million para sa project. Pwede na mag-umpisa ‘yung building ng National Academy of Sports. Another dream come true ito sa akin dahil pwede nang mag-aral and mag-training ang mga atleta at the same time. Noon, nasasakripisyo ang pagte-training o pag-aaral. Ngayon, pwede nang pagsabayin ang dalawang ito,” said Go.

“At least ‘yung mga estudyante natin, kung hindi sila tumuloy bilang atleta, hindi masasakripisyo ang kanilang pag-aaral. Hopefully, kung magiging successful, gagawin natin by region itong academy,” he added.

The government will release a total of P729 million to cover the construction costs, including civil works requirements; fixtures, furniture, and equipment; and consultancy services. The Senator urged the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which shall be in charge of the construction, to wisely use the funds appropriated for the development of the Academy.

In June 2020, President Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11470 which provides for the establishment of the NAS System and Main Campus. Go served as author and co-sponsor of the measure in the Senate.

Under the law, the main campus shall be built at the New Clark City Sports Complex. It will serve as a haven for young learners and feature state of the art educational and sports facilities for them to enjoy, including school buildings, an auditorium, a baseball and softball field, tennis and badminton court, and basketball and volleyball court. 

To provide a firm foundation for the country’s sports development, the school shall hire local and foreign coaches, trainers, and consultants licensed as well as duly-certified by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) who can ensure the international competitiveness of the student-athletes.

Meanwhile, to expand the institution’s reach, regional campuses and satellite branches will also be constructed as part of future expansion plans to reach previously untapped students who are not willing to uproot to attend the main campus but still want the experience and brand that the Academy offers.

The NAS System is headed by the Executive Director Joy Reyes and governed by the Board of Trustees. The Board is composed of the Secretary of Education, the Chairperson of the PSC, President of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, the Executive Director, and two representatives from the private sector with expertise in the fields of sports or education.

The NAS System is attached to the Department of Education and shall operate in close coordination with the PSC.

“Ngayon na magkakaroon na ng National Academy of Sports, mabibigyan na ang mga kabataang atletang Pinoy ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral at mag-training sa isang eskwelahan na may mga world-class na pasilidad at maaayos na mga programa para magabayan sila bilang world-class student-athletes,” said Go.

“Layunin natin na mabigyan ang ating mga kabataan ng maayos na edukasyon para magkaroon ng marangal at maayos na pamumuhay sa kanilang pagtanda. Ang kabataan po ang pag-asa ng ating bayan kaya huwag natin silang pabayaan,” he added.

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