The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) expressed excitement after Congress ratified the establishment of the National Academy for Sports (NAS).
"The board is unanimous in saying that this is a welcome development,” PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said in a statement on Tuesday, a day after the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the proposed establishment of NAS.
Ramirez said anything that supports sports development “a great boost to the country's efforts to build a deeper grassroots sports program, which feeds our elite sports programs.”
PSC commissioner Mon Fernandez likened the ratification of NSA to “hitting two birds with one stone."
"Affording our youth quality education and world-class sports training is indeed a very commendable move, to say the least,” said Fernandez, a Philippine Basketball Association hall of famer.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Celia Kiram sees the NAS as an avenue for the Philippines to produce world-class Filipino athletes.
Commissioner Charles Maxey said the NAS will give Philippine sports the needed boost and clear direction for student-athletes “not only in their quest for sporting excellence but also in the academic field.”
The establishment of NAS gives everyone in the sporting community “something positive to look forward to,” Commissioner Arnold Agustin said.
“This move will greatly help our youth to bravely proceed to pursue their athletic dreams along with their academics,” he added.
Pending in the Senate for a decade already, the NAS will give secondary education to Filipinos who look to excel in sports, giving them full scholarship and proper training in the sports that they choose to play.
The measure, which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1086 and House Bill No. 6312, eyes the establishment of the academy’s main campus at the existing New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac.
The NAS will be attached to the Department of Education (DepEd), in close coordination with the PSC.
Students of the academy shall be given priority access to facilities at the New Clark City Sports Complex.
The proposal also mandates the setting up of nationally-funded regional high schools for sports.*PNA
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