Amend Palaro Law, says former top government sports official
By Primo P. Agatep
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — With the government giving assurance of throwing all support to Filipino athletes and the historic launching of Philippine Institute Sports (PIS) focused on scientific-based training with emphasis in grassroot development, a former government sports official wanted that Palaro Pambansa Law must be amended and the creation of a department of sports must be stopped.
Dr. Aparicio Mequi, former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair, was among those senior sports officials who lauded the establishment of PIS, but called on the amendment of the Palaro law.
He proposed that the ratio of participating athletes in the annual school-based Palaro shall be corrected. Current times, the ratio is 75 percent are in private schools and only 25 percent are in public.
“Emperical evidence, NCR have been Palaro champion for more than 15 years, both in elementary and high school,” Mequi said.
The former sports official of the University of the Philippines also revealed that the Division of School Sports of the Department of Education (DepEd) has only two percent qualified coaches.
He lamented that many of the heads of the division of school sports in the regions are not qualified.
Like the case of Dumaguete, he said “the head of the school sports is an agriculture graduate, and he is in sports because he is a volleyball coach.”
Now, this comes the importance of Philippine Institute of Sports (PIS).
One of the PIS program include Education and Training Program designed to provide short and comprehensive building for Physical Education teachers both in public and private schools attuned to modern and scientific approach in teaching sports, physical fitness courses.
“You train public school teachers (Physical Education) because they are the ones who have captive audience — their pupils,” Mequi said.
Another issue of the Palaro is sports facilities. He disclosed that there are about 35 sports facilities that are “white elephants.” It exists “because there are no policy in the construction of athletic facilities.”
Mequi suggested that the government must impose a 10-year moratorium in the construction of Palaro facilities “because you keep adding a proverbial white elephant.”
He strongly suggests that “Congress shall have to wait at least 5-10 years to produce qualified and competent manpower to man a department of sports otherwise it will end up a department not qualified.
He took for example the case of the Department of Defense — there is the Philippine Military Academy (PMA); Department of Public Works and Highways — there are engineering schools and universities; and the Department of Health — there are schools that are offering a degree of medicine. In sports, are there any?”
“So how we could staff a department of sports when you don’t have an entity — competent people to man and manage (the) sports department.
“Dito muna tayo sa PIS. The institute will fulfill that need,” he said. (PNA)