Olympic budget gets lower house backing

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The Philippines has been chasing its first Olympic gold medal ever since it started participating in the global Summer Games.

And knowing that chase needs all the help it can get, the House of Representatives Committee on Youth and Sports Development has joined the effort to end a century-old wait.

Lawmakers from the lo­wer chamber have committed to back the request of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in securing the proposed P182-million budget for the preparation and participation of Filipino athletes in the Tokyo Games next year.

“We have not won an Olympic gold in our lifetime, and this is our best chance,’’ said Committee on Youth and Sports Development Chair Eric Martinez.

During the recent budget defense meeting of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Martinez has expressed confidence of a golden breakthrough in Tokyo with the all-out support of the government.

“I asked the Pagcor for its commitment with regards to the support for PSC, for our athletes and for this Olympics, so we could finally nail down that Olympic gold,’’ said Martinez, a representative from the second district of Valenzuela City.

Martinez said anybody from the present crop of Olympic qualifiers—pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena, gymnast Carlos Yulo, boxers Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno—are capable of satis­fying the hunger for that elusive Olympic gold.

Other Filipinos who possess a good shot at the gold, but have yet to qualify are Olympic weightlifting silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, world champion boxer Nesthy Petecio and skateboarder Margielyn Didal, among others.

“This is now the critical time that we push and channel all our resources for their training with one year to go,’’ said Martinez, who proposed a flawless coordination between the PSC and Pagcor. INQ


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