By Primo P. Agatep
MANILA, Aug. 19 (PNA)– A Php3- to Php6-billion “Philippine Sports City” will rise in a 50-hectare lot inside the proposed “Green City” in Clark, Pampanga in preparation for the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in 2019.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair William I. Ramirez said this during Friday’s press conference where he also announced his newly appointed commissioners in the government sports body.
The four Commissioners are Charles Raymond Maxey, Ramon “El Presidente” Fernandez, Arnold Agustin and Celia Kiram.
Ramirez said the “Olympic City” will include an Athletes Village, National Sports Training Center- complete with an ultra-modern track and field oval and the Sports Institute also equipped with modern facilities for the scientific sports training and development of Filipino athletes.
The modernized sports plan covers a wide array of programs like sports medicine-nutrition-sports psychology and conditioning; nutrition; and athletes and coaches career and advancement.
Ramirez said that “this is not a lip service” stressing the commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to strengthen Philippine sports and lift Filipino athletes to new heights which form part of the plan to revive the Philippine Sports Institute through an Executive Order to be signed by President Duterte.
Ramirez, also the head of PSC when the country bagged the overall championship in the 2005 Manila SEAG, said the construction of the Olympic City is a government-to-government “usufruct” undertaking together with the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).
Ramirez emphasized that government has to take the lead in unifying and improving Philippine sports, lamenting that “we are dreaming for an Olympic gold but we cannot even provide a decent dormitory to our athletes.”
The PSC buckled down to work for their first official board meeting after the almost one hour press conference.
Ramirez said topping their agenda include the setting up of more clear policies on sports program, athletes welfare, and its relations with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the 52 National Sports Associations (NSAs) which are regular voting members of POC.