By Nick Giongco
A staggering P620 million has been allocated for the training and overseas exposure of national athletes, including P220 million for those aligned with Olympic sports, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) said yesterday.
PSC chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez said the NSAs were divided into three classes with tier one made up of weightlifting, judo, boxing, taekwondo, swimming, boxing, track and field, windsurfing, surfing and archery, all Olympic sports.
The second tier, a mix of Olympic and non-Olympic sports has been given a P140 million and among those classified under this are chess, equestrian, wushu and bowling while P240 million will go to the third tier that also has cycling, dancesport, fencing, badminton and several others.
Some 50 NSAs will benefit from the cash windfall from the PSC in line with the country’s preparation for the 2018 Asian Games, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We based the classification on the NSAs’ performance and world ranking,” said Ramirez, noting that alongside the decision to provide hefty funds to the NSAs, the agency is also spearheading a feeding program that will be manned by an accomplished chef.
“This will change the face of the PSC,” said Ramirez, stressing that the agency is only following the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte to the letter.
“When we came in, this was one of the President’s instructions…feed the athletes well,” he said.
Under the PSC’s plans, every sport will have a diet program specific to the nutritional needs of an athlete.
“Every sport is different. A diet program for one sport may not be suitable or enough for another,” Ramirez added.