Philippine National Games bill gets final House approval

FILE–Athletes start in the women’s 200m freestyle final during swimming competition at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in New Clark City, Tarlac province, northern Philippines on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

The proposed biennial Philippine National Games (PNG) bill received resounding approval during its third and final reading in the House session held on Wednesday.

Nominal voting data revealed that House Bill (HB) No. 8468, also known as the “Philippine National Games Act,” secured 275 affirmative votes.

“Filipinos possess an inherent passion for sports and friendly rivalry. This competitive spirit has brought our nation numerous accolades on the international stage, and it all originates domestically. Through the Philippine National Games, our objective is to cultivate and nurture this athletic talent,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said.

Among the primary authors of the bill are Representatives Yedda Marie K. Romualdez, Jude Acidre, Richard Gomez, Anthony Rolando Golez Jr., Gus Tambunting, Lord Allan Velasco, Fauastino Michael Carlos Dy III, Margarita “Migs” Nograles, Charisse Anne Hernandez, Eric Buhain, Jeyzel Victoria Yu, Francisco Paolo Ortega V, Mikee Romero, and Manuel Jose Dalipe.

The PNG is envisioned as a nationwide grassroots sports initiative and platform to discover and develop exceptional athletes with the potential to excel in various sports, elevating the nation’s standing in international sporting events.

This initiative is set to become the nation’s premier sports competition, held every two years. The official sports covered by the PNG are aquatics, archery, arnis, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, billiards, snooker, bowling, boxing, canoe-kayak, chess, cycling, dancesport, e-sports, fencing, floorball, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, lawn tennis, modern pentathlon, muay thai, pencak silat, petanque, rowing, and rugby.

The roster also includes sailing, sambo, sepak takraw, shooting, skateboarding, softball, soft tennis, squash, surfing, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and wushu.

The PNG will provide a platform for National Sports Associations (NSAs) to advance their sports programs at the grassroots level and establish connections with local government units (LGUs). Additionally, it will serve as a feeder program for student-athletes, prioritizing them for full scholarships in the secondary education program at the National Academy of Sports.

“This will also incentivize all local government units to foster sports development in all corners of the country, spanning provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays,” Romualdez noted, underscoring the grassroots essence of the PNG.

HB No. 8468 establishes the PNG Board as the lead policymaking and coordinating body for PNG preparations. Board members are entitled to reimbursement for actual travel and other expenses linked to their official duties, following relevant laws and regulations.

The Board comprises seven members: (a) Chairperson – Executive Secretary, (b) Vice Chairperson – Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), (c) Secretary General of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), (d) Member – Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), (e) Member – Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), (f) Member – Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), and (g) Member – President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).


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