Senator Paolo Benigno ‘Bam’ Aquino IV called on Wednesday for massive reforms in sports following the sixth place finish of the Philippines in the recently-concluded 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
I hope we can do massive reforms in our sports sectors to improve our standings, Aquino said in a press statement.
The Philippines improved its seventh place finish two years ago but its performance in Singapore was only good to equal the country’s 29 gold haul in the 27th Myanmar SEA Games.
The country also brought home 36 silvers and 66 bronzes to finish behind overall champion Thailand (95-83-69), Singapore (84-73-102), Vietnam (73-53-60), Malaysia (62-58-66), and Indonesia (47-61-74).
Of course, for our athletes, whether they won gold, silver or bronze or no medal, we’re still proud of you. If you really did your best to raise our flag, we’re proud of you, Aquino said.
Aquino, however, believes that the Philippines can still do better if massive reforms will be done in the near future.
The SEA Games serves as a mirror of one country. If we are improving our economy, I hope our standings will also improve, Aquino said.
Since the 2005 SEA Games which the Philippines hosted and emerged overall champion with 113 gold, 84 silver and 94 bronze medals, the country skidded its medal haul, winning only 41-91-96 gold-silver-bronze in 2007 in Thailand, 38-35-31 in 2009 in Laos, 36-56-77 in 2011 in Indonesia and 29-34-38 in 2013 in Myanmar.
In previous radio interviews, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Peping Cojuangco said the lack of budget is the main reason for the slumping performance of the Philippine athletes in the international arena.
We have to have enough money to fund the training of our athletes not only here but also abroad to improve their competitiveness, Cojuangco, who is the POC chief since 2004, said in Sports Radio interview.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ricardo Garcia, for his part, said the Filipino athletes need new and conducive training venues.
Rizal Memorial Complex is old and even if it will be renovated, it is no longer conducive as training venue for our athletes, Garcia said in a separate interview.
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, located along Pablo Ocampo St. (formerly Vito Cruz St.) in Malate, Manila, was built in 1934 and reconstructed in 1953 after it was destroyed during the World War II. (PNA)SCS/jfm