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Bong Go supports PSC, GAB budget proposals for 2022

Bong Go wants the budgets for the PSC and GAB approved very soon. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Senate Committee on Sports chairman Bong Go has expressed his full support to the proposed budgets the national government's two primary sports arms are looking to get for next year even as everyone begins their move for the reopening of sporting events to the general public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Suportado ko po ang pagbigay ng kaukulang budget sa PSC at GAB. As the chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports and as a passionate advocate for sports development in the country, I believe that investing in sports will not only allow our country to develop more world-class athletes who can bring pride, honor, and medals to our country, but will also help us in keeping our youth away from illegal drugs and other harmful vices," Go said during the budget hearing of the said agencies on Monday.

The Department of Budget and Management has initially set a PHP175 million budget for PSC, but Chairman Butch Ramirez is expected to ask for a huge increase considering a busy year ahead for the Philippine team highlighted by the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the Southeast Asian Games, and the Asian Games.

In a report by Malaya's Bong Pedralvez last week, Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino were to meet to finalize the budget proposal even as Tolentino, also the representative of the 8th District of Cavite, is also expected to raise the said concern in the Congress' own budget deliberation.

On the other hand, GAB chairman Baham Mitra confirmed to Dugout Philippines that the agency is asking almost PHP146.5 million for its 2022 operations.

On the other hand, Go also asked Senate Committee on Finance chairman Sonny Angara to have it approved as soon as possible.

"Mr. Chair, let me point out that the PSC and GAB need budgetary support from us now, more than ever, as they are finding it difficult to keep our sports program afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic," Go, who is listed as one of the finance committee's vice chairpersons, told Angara, the concurrent chairman of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

He also called on the rest of the senators to support the PSC and GAB budget proposals as the Philippines looks to continue its sports renaissance anchored upon the 2019 Southeast Asian Games overall championship and the historic gold medal conquest in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.

"Through our efforts, the Philippines became the top performing country in Southeast Asia in the recent Tokyo Olympics. Kaya naman po hinihimok ko ang ating mga kasamahan na suportahan ang budget ng PSC at GAB para tuluy-tuloy lang po ang sports development sa ating bansa. For these reasons, I have no objections to the proposed budget, at kung pwede pa pong dagdagan ay dagdagan pa po natin. Ako po ay natutuwa dahil nagagamit ng husto ang pondong ipinagkaloob sa ating mga ahensya noong nakaraang taon despite the limited budgetary resources," Go continued.

He then hopes, "This year, I am sure that our agencies will likewise utilize the budget prudently and wisely for the benefit of our nation."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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