MANILA – A week after President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed a law creating a ‘state-of-the-art’ Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez thanked the lawmakers who authored and co-sponsored the measure in the Senate.
"We express our sincerest gratitude to you staunchly supporting our goal and vision to produce world-class Filipino athletes with the creation of the Philippine Amateur Sports Training Center," Ramirez said in his letter sent to Senator Sonny Angara on Thursday.
Ramirez said the establishment of the highly-scientific sports center for abled and differently-abled athletes of the country is just one aspect of the long list of support the sports community got from Angara.
Angara, concurrent chairman of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), is the chair of the Senate Committee on Sports from 2013-2016 and authored the Senate version of the bill that would become Republic Act 11214 or known as Philippine Sports Training Center Act.
He and Senator Manny Pacquiao, a reigning world boxing champion, co-sponsored the bill.
Ramirez mentioned Republic Act 10699 which Angara also supported in the Senate to increase the allowance, benefits and incentives of national athletes and coaches.
“Now, with the establishment of the amateur training facility, which you authored and co-sponsored along with Senator Pacquiao, we are inspired to discover a new pool of athletes and harness their talents,” Ramirez said.
“Your efforts show your faith in Filipino sports talents, that they can share the world stage with the world’s best given the proper training, facilities and sports. Again, we thank you for the good work you have done for Philippine sports and the Filipino athletes,” he added.
In reaction, Angara said, "I am overwhelmed by the kind words."
Angara said that his support for the Filipino athletes will continue after Duterte gave the go signal for the construction of the PSTC.
“We will continue to listen to views of athletes, coaches and people in the sports sector and respond proactively, with a view to providing the strongest support to Filipino athletes, who, despite being deprived of world-class training facilities, still managed to bring honor and pride to the country,” Angara said.
Under the law, a total of PHP3.5 billion will be allocated for the construction of the PSTC, which shall have sports and training facilities and amenities for at least 39 national sports associations (NSAs).
Some of the proposed facilities inside the PSTC are dormitory for athletes and coaches, baseball field, beach volleyball courts, bowling center, covered swimming and diving pool, football field, gymnastic center, track and field oval, tennis courts, velodrome, rugby pitch, sports science building among others. (PNA)