The House of Representatives and the Senate promised the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to include a budget for four major international competitions next year in the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

/ 17 September 2021

POC president and Tagaytay City Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino shared that both offices assured the inclusion of the budget.

“House Speaker Lord Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto III assured the inclusion of the budget for four major international competitions next year,” Tolentino said. 

“This after the Department of Budget and Management didn’t allot a single centavo to the Philippine Sports Commission [PSC] budget for these major events.”

The country will be seeing action in several international events next year like the Beijing Winter Olympics scheduled on Feb. 4 to 20, Thailand Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) on March 10 to 20, Huangzhou Asian Games on Sept. 10 to 25, and Shantou Asian Youth Games on Dec. 20 to 28.

The POC is now working on determining how many possible numbers of national athletes will participate in the four major events in order to estimate how much budget would be allocated by the 18th Congress.

“The budget hearings are coming up so we have to be steadfast,” Tolentino uttered. 

Tolentino thanked both the chambers of Congress for their full support in the Philippine sports.

Thanks to the country’s historic success in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Philippine sports and the athletes can now receive more than what it has been getting the past years

“Philippine sports must be unwavering as we have to sustain the momentum of our successful campaign in the Tokyo Olympics.”

“We have our sports heroes in gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, silver medalists Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam and bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial and the 15 other athletes who fought mightily in Tokyo,” Tolentino said. “Their success and how they campaigned changed the landscape of Philippine sports.”

The POC announced on Tuesday that the country will go full force in Thailand for 2022 AIMAG, in which they will send 160 athletes who will compete in 21 of the 31 sports in the program. 

“We have put together a delegation whose members are all potential for the medals,” Tolentino shared.

“The objective is to ride the momentum of the Tokyo Olympics success and surpass our two gold medals won in the last AIMAG in Turkmenistan in 2017,” he added.

Moreover, the POC is hoping to surpass the successful campaign of Team Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta where participating athletes brought home four gold medals, two silver and 15 bronze.

Filipino figure skaters Edrian Celestino, Sofia Frank, and Christopher Caluza will try to secure their spot for the Winter Olympics in the qualifier game in Germany later this month.

The Asian Youth Games were last conducted in 2013 in Nanjing, China, where the Philippines finished with two golds, four silvers, and one bronze.