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Duterte signs PH sports academy law

President Rodrigo officially signed the National Academy of Sports Act. PCOO
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The future of Philippine sports is now secured.

President Rodrigo Duterte officially enacted into law the bill that will create a national sports academy for prospects who can give glory to the country.

On Tuesday, Duterte signed what would be called Republic Act 11470 or the National Academy of Sports Act at his guest house in Davao City as confirmed by presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Wednesday.

"With PRRD’s signing of RA 11470, we are confident that we will be able to raise our student-athletes’ competitiveness in the field of sports and produce world-class athletes in the years to come," Roque said in a statement.

The NAS will be situated at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, the main site of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

Under the new law, qualified high school student-athletes will be given full scholarships to the NAS, where they will be given quality education plus extensive training to further hone their skills in the sports they choose to excel at.

"The Philippines has demonstrated that we can be on par with our neighbors in the region in terms of sports," Roque added.

He then expressed gladness on behalf of Malacanang to the two legislative chambers "for making sure that this piece of legislation will be passed into law."

The creation of NAS was one of the priority legislative measures Duterte announced during his State of the Nation Address last year.

PSC 'elated'

Meanwhile, the PSC expressed happiness that RA 11470 has already been enacted by Duterte.

"We are elated to see the hardwork of our leaders in Senate and Congress come to fruition with this law," said Chairman Butch Ramirez in a separate statement, echoing the sentiments of Commissioners Mon Fernandez, Arnold Agustin, Charles Maxey, and Celia Kiram.

Ramirez then added that the PSC will cooperate in implementing the provisions in the said law and has extended its support.

"[We recognize] its success as a vital boost to the country's sports development and complementing the sports agency's efforts in line with its mandate to develop grassroots and elite sports," he further said.

The PSC will be closely coordinating with DepEd for the development of NAS. The education secretary will lead the NAS's board of trustees as chairman.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno