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Bong Go supports para athletes’ appeal

SEN. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who presided over a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Sports on Monday, August 14, emphasized how the achievements of the athletes have become a source of national pride.

“Through the years, we have witnessed how the Filipino athletes stand out in various international sports competitions, such as the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games, para games, world championships, and Olympics,” he said.

ON SAME FOOTING Sen. Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go (left) takes a group selfie with Filipino para athletes during his birthday on June 14, 2023, at the Novadeci Convention Center in Novaliches, Quezon City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“We can excel in sports with hard work, perseverance and determination,” Go continued, focusing on the inspirational stories of Filipino athletes, particularly the differently-abled, who have demonstrated immense resilience and determination in their respective sports.

Go is the author of Senate Bill (SB) 2116, which seeks to amend Republic Act 10699 or the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act” which was tackled during the hearing.

He emphasized the need to further recognize para athletics on the same footing as other international competitions.

“The proposed measures seek to upgrade the incentives for para athletes to be at par with other international competitions of the same caliber. This bill intends to provide equal opportunities and recognition to all athletes, thereby promoting inclusivity and diversity in sports” Go explained.

Highlighting the equal efforts and honors brought by para athletes, Go said: “Our athletes also work hard to achieve that, and they bring home the same honor for our country. They deserve to receive incentives as they also work hard and bring the same honor for our country.”

He further insisted that disabilities should not lessen the honor these athletes deserve, urging his colleagues in the Senate to support the bill, and emphasizing that investments in sports can elevate the youth and protect them from detrimental vices.

During the hearing, Go also stressed why less attention is given to para games and para athletes, asking “Why is there less attention given to para games and para athletes? What is the Philippine Sports Commission doing to give equal importance to them?”

“These financial incentives are not just rewards but a recognition of the effort, commitment and perseverance of our para athletes,” said Go, reiterating his dedication to supporting and empowering athletes, both in their athletic pursuits and life beyond sports.

Go concluded by encouraging the athletes to continue to excel in their respective fields, emphasizing the resilient spirit of the Filipino.

“While we are still alive, there is hope for us. We are here to support you. Do not lose hope even with your disability. What is important is that we are alive, and remember that we only live once in this world, make the most out of it,” said Go in Filipino.

“Go on fighting, Filipinos are known as fighters,” he said.

Also tackled during the hearing was Go's proposed SB 423, known as the “Philippine National Games Act,” aiming to provide a platform for athletes across the nation, particularly young individuals, to showcase their skills and compete at the national level.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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