Senator Christopher “Bong” Go (File photo)
MANILA – Senator Christopher “Bong” Go gave his best wishes to Filipino athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, reiterating his unwavering support as the Games kicked off on July 23.
“Ang sports po ay isang paraan para magkaisa tayo at maipagmalaki ang galing ng kapwa nating Pilipino. Umaasa po tayo na maging matagumpay ang ating mga atleta na sasabak sa Olympics. Higit sa lahat, sana ay maging ligtas sila lalo na laban sa anumang sakit (Sports is a way for us to unite and be proud of the talent of our fellow Filipinos. We hope that our athletes who will compete in the Olympics will be successful. Above all, hopefully, they will be safe especially against any disease),” Go said in a news release on Sunday.
Go, also chair of the Senate committee on sports expressed optimism that the country’s athletes will do well and bring home the country’s first gold medal in this year’s edition of the Olympics.
“Sana po ay manalo. We wish them good luck at ako naman po ay tiwalang kakayanin nating manalo at makakuha ng ating inaasam na gold medal para sa ating bayan. Dito lang po kami full support po kami sa ating mga atleta (I hope they will win. We wish them good luck and I’m confident that they will be able to win and get the coveted gold medal for our country. We fully support our athletes),” he said.
The Philippines is represented by 19 athletes and five para-athletes in the quadrennial meet.
On Saturday, Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio advanced in the next round of the women’s featherweight boxing event while gymnast Carlos Yulo qualified in the finals of the vault event.
Recognizing the athletes’ dedication to bringing pride and glory to the Philippines, Go said he will continue to advocate for their well-being in the face of the pandemic.
He also stated that he is proud of them regardless of the results of the competitions.
“Isang malaking karangalan na po ang mapabilang sa 24 na atleta na nagre-representa sa bansa sa Olympics at Paralympics (It is a great honor to be among the 24 athletes who represent the country at the Olympics and Paralympics),” said Go. “Kaya naman, manalo o matalo, saludo ako sa atletang Pilipino (So, win or lose, I salute the Filipino athletes).”
Following a request from the Philippine Sports Commission coursed through Go, the Office of the President has approved additional allowance to athletes competing in the Olympics and Paralympics.
The additional allowance worth PHP100,000 was granted by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte “as token and to celebrate the achievement” of the athletes who qualified for the Olympics and Paralympics as suggested by Go.
Earlier, initial allowances and provisions have already been given to the athletes and coaches including USD1,000 per person, delegation supply of competition equipment and uniforms, plane tickets, billeting, and delegation uniforms through the efforts of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
As vice chair of the Senate committee on finance, Go has assured adequate funding is included in the PSC’s budget to support athletes’ preparations for the Olympics and other international events.
He pushed for an additional PHP100 million to be included in the 2021 budget which was later on increased PHP250 million under the PSC for Olympic preparations.
As for the Paralympics athletes, Go earlier supported the allocation of an additional PHP7.945 million budget for their preparations.
He has also successfully appealed to the government to include Filipino athletes and other delegates who will compete or participate in the ongoing Olympics in the priority list for Covid-19 vaccination.
Go earlier also urged promising young Filipino athletes to join the National Academy of Sports (NAS) Annual Search for Competent, Exceptional, Notable and Talented Student-Athlete Scholars (NASCENT SAS) as the deadline of submission of applications had been extended to July 31.
He has also pushed for legislation to safeguard athletes’ welfare as part of the country’s sports development programs. Previously, he expressed his support for the establishment of the Philippine Sports Training Center in Bataan.
Go highlighted that together with the National Academy of Sports, both institutions are gifts from the government to national athletes.
In June of last year, Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11470, which established the NAS with Go as one of the measure’s authors and co-sponsors in the Senate. (PR)