FOLLOWING President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s hailing Filipino athletes as our new heroes, the fourth quarter of the year saw the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) further sustaining its momentum with a newly chartered plan for Philippine sports and fresh achievements both in the elite and grassroots sports.
PSC Chairman Jose Emmanuel Eala began his stint conducting a very well-attended PSC-NSA consultative meeting where he met with officials from 68 out of 74 national sports associations (NSAs) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last October 13. The 11th chairman asserted the need for mutual respect between the agency and the NSAs, and responsible autonomy rooted in transparent management of government funds.
Aside from laying out the agency’s plans and programs, Mr. Eala also laid out the framework of his administration’s national sports agenda saying, “We will establish a pathway to success beginning with the “Duyan ng Magiting” or the “Cradle of the Brave” at the grassroots level leading to the tweaked version of the Gintong Alay which we will call Project: Gintong Laban which is to be implemented at the elite level.” Improving the relationship with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) was also top priority for the PSC.
Apart from strengthening ties with the NSAs, Mr. Eala alongside Commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo, also ensured the PSC’s continued support to elite athletes even with a full board yet to be completed.
Various achievements of our Filipino elite athletes grew under this administration. These achievements include the gold medal win of Filipina weightlifting superstar Hidilyn Diaz-Naranjo, who clinched the crown at the 2022 IWF World Weightlifting Championship in Bogota, Colombia; Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Carlo Paalam’s gold medal romp at the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan; Olympic gymnast Carlos Yulo’s silver and bronze medal win at the 51st FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships; and new jiu jitsu world champions courtesy of Meggie Ochoa and Kimberly Anne Custodio, among others.
Mr. Marcos’ concern for Filipino athletes, continues to be the driving force behind the PSC caring for Philippine sports like no other. Some of these elite athletes were fully cultivated in the grassroots programs of the sports agency such as the Batang Pinoy (BP) and the Philippine National Games (PNG).
Before the year ended, the PSC also successfully conducted the return of the Batang Pinoy National Championships, hosted by the Province of Ilocos Sur from Dec. 17 to 21. Over 6000 delegates from 140 cities and municipalities nationwide competed in the 17 sporting disciplines for face-to-face and virtual competitions.