By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA (PNA) – On his first committee hearing as Chairman, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao on Tuesday urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to nurture the talents of Filipino athletes and end corruption within the committee.
Pacquiao, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, asked PSC Commissioner William “Butch” Ramirez to present the agency’s grassroots sports program and suggested ways to enhance it such as training athletes at a young age.
“If there is talent there, nurture him. After he graduates from school, continue nurturing him. When the time comes, we will be collecting medals,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.)
Ramirez for his part reiterated his plan to create a masterplan that will allow the committee to build more sports training facilities and provide athletes with the best coaches, dieticians and physicians.
He said that he targeted the completion of the masterplan before September.
The boxer-senator meanwhile urged Ramirez to put an end to corrupt practices within the committee, especially if it would directly affect the athletes.
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara for his part, urged the committee to establish a Philippine sports museum to exhibit significant achievements of legendary Filipino athletes.
“Our generation knows the story of Hidilyn Diaz but in 20 years’ time, future generations might forget it,” Angara referring to the Olympian silver-medalist weightlifter.
“We should institute a sports museum so that Hidilyn and other legendary Filipino athletes will not be forgotten,” the senator, who is also vice chair to the Committee on Sports, added.
Also present during the hearing, Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian mentioned how it was a “rare opportunity” that senate chairman on sports is from the grassroots.
He meanwhile urged the PSC to “get their acts together” especially now that a sports champion is in the senate.