Ilocos Norte Representative and Nacionalista Party (NP) senatorial candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., on Tuesday said he is pushing for the creation of a parallel sports agency that will ensure the successful implementation of a genuine grass-roots sports program in the country.
In a sports forum organized by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) held at Shakey's UN Avenue in Manila on April 20, 2010; Marcos noted the sorry state of Philippine sports and is seeking for a revitalization of the nation’s grass-roots sports program.
“It is obvious that the current system that we have for sports does not work. This is the reason why the country has been a laggard in the international sports arena for so long. I believe that the problem cannot be legislated and can only be addressed by creating an agency under the executive branch that will oversee a comprehensive grass-roots sports program,” Marcos said.
The youthful solon stressed that this parallel agency would serve to draw the line in terms of accountability among heads of various National Sports Associations (NSAs).
Marcos attended the PSA weekly sports forum full of fervor and further injected his thoughts on the various issues currently hounding Philippine sports.
The congressman from the north lamented the power struggles within NSAs that has left athletes demoralized and ill-prepared for competitions.
“I do not understand why politics have to be involved in sports. It has no place in such an endeavor. While these officials jockey for positions and power, the welfare of the athletes are being jeopardized,” Bongbong said.
The Ilocano congressman also noted the government’s excessive reliance on private corporations for sponsorships in order to send athletes and officials to competitions abroad.
“What the private corporations are doing for sports in the country is good. But it is just temporarily filling the breach left by the government’s negligence. At the end of the day, it is the government that needs to take charge in order to change this practice,” Marcos said.
“While we want to be acknowledged again as a serious contender in sports competitions abroad, we should not veer far from the fact that sports should be made accessible to everyone. Medals only come secondary to improving the body and mind of Filipinos,” Marcos added.
Marcos, an active sportsman himself, is the founding chairman of the Marcos Combat Shooters Club of Ilocos Norte. He annually hosts the prestigious Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) Nationals “Bongbong Marcos Cup” in Suba, Paoay in Ilocos Norte.