Senate approves on second reading the Philippine National Games Bill sponsored by Bong Go

Senate approves on second reading the Philippine National Games Bill sponsored by Bong Go

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go lauded the Senate approval of Senate Bill No. 2514, or the Philippine National Games (PNG) bill, on second reading on Tuesday, May 14, following the proposal of significant amendments. Go is the principal sponsor and author of the measure.

The bill, which aims to strengthen grassroots sports development and provide a structured national sports program, hurdled the period of interpellations and amendments on second reading after incorporating crucial revisions to ensure inclusivity and comprehensiveness.

“Napaka-importante po nitong Philippine National Games, para po itong mini-Olympics. Every two years po itong gaganapin, at makikita natin na doon po madidiskubre ito pong mga atleta na nasa malalayong lugar dahil marami rin pong potential athletes doon,” he said previously.

Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Sports stressed the importance of the amendments introduced to enhance the bill’s scope and objectives.

“The amendments ensure that the PNG will not only serve as the only national sports competition but also recognize other similar initiatives while also providing opportunities for para-athletes and other local sports competitions,” Go stated.

Key changes to the bill include the rephrasing of PNG’s role to serve as one of the country’s national sports competitions. This adjustment aims to recognize the importance of other significant sports events in the country, such as the Palarong Pambansa. The bill also explicitly includes para-athletes, ensuring equal opportunities for athletes with disabilities.

“The changes reflect our commitment to a more inclusive sports program that reaches all levels of our society. This bill will help discover and nurture talent from every corner of the Philippines,” Go remarked.

Additionally, the bill now mandates that the Philippine National Games be held in collaboration with municipalities under the jurisdiction of the provinces and cities, ensuring broader participation.

The coordination with the Palarong Pambansa and other local and international competitions has also been emphasized to avoid scheduling conflicts and prioritize the welfare of the athletes.

The Senate also approved a provision that prevents athletes from switching delegations after participating in qualifying competitions, ensuring fair play and consistent representation. Furthermore, the amendments allow the use of school facilities of the DepEd for the PNG, provided other facilities are utilized first, to accommodate the needs of the event.

With the second reading approval, the bill moves one step closer to becoming law. Go expressed optimism about its impact, saying, “This bill, if enacted, will pave the way for a more organized and inclusive sports development program in our country.”

“It is a significant stride towards nurturing our athletes and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among Filipinos,” concluded Go while reiterating his appeal to the youth to get into sports, stay away from illegal drugs to keep healthy and fit.

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