By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Sen. Grace Poe is calling for a review of the government’s sports development programs to boost the chances of Filipino athletes in clinching gold medals in international sports events and the Olympics.
Poe recently filed Senate Resolution No. 678 which asked the Senate committee on sports to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the efforts of the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the entire sports community “to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the country’s first gold medal in the Olympics.”
Poe said this as she cited the Philippines has yet to receive a gold medal since it joined the annual sports event in 1924.
After participating in 20 editions of the Olympics, the Philippines has won only 10 medals — three silver and seven bronze — the latest being the silver medal of Filipina weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz in the 2016 Summer Games.
“We need to take a deeper look at how these agencies are implementing existing laws on sports development and see what it will take for the Philippines to bring home the gold this time,” Poe said.
“It’s time to up the ante on sports development, including training for international competitions, with the ultimate goal of winning the Olympic gold, which remains one of the unrealized dreams of our sports sector,” she added.
Hoping to break the dry spell in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Poe stressed the need to assess existing laws on sports development and “to rally the private sector and the public for a united support for Filipino athletes.”
“Winning a gold medal in the Olympics is still one of the unrealized dreams of our sports sector, which the government must foster and support to the best of its capacity,” she said in her resolution.
Poe said she hopes the Philippine Sports Commission, under its new chairman William Ramirez, “will lead the way in improving the lot of athletes to make them more competitive and world-class toward bringing honor to the country.”