PSC mulls unified collegiate sports body

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) began the blueprint for a unified collegiate sports organization with the staging of the two-day consultative meeting among tertiary schools sports stakeholders.

Officials of schools and athletic groups all over the country met on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss university sports during the National Consultative Meeting organized by the PSC at the Philsport Multi-Purpose Arena in Pasig City.

The two-day meeting hopes to unify stakeholders of collegiate sports to create a unified athletic association.

PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the agency, after 27 years of existence, has failed to completely fulfill its mandate.

He, however, said the PSC recognizes this and is now running to fill gaps, starting with grassroots sports.

“We came here to build bridges. Yes, there are sad stories but we have to learn from those stories,” said Ramirez, adding that the PSC is connecting with various agencies.

“We are partnering with the Department of Education to strengthen the Palarong Pambansa, the Commission on Higher Education for tertiary sports, and with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and various local government units for grassroots sports,” he said

Congressman Mark Aeron Sambar, vice chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, attended the meeting and has expressed his support for collegiate sports.

“We at the Congress are willing to help, but we have to see a firm plan. Let us all work together and find direction,” said Sambar, adding he is optimistic about the outcome of the meeting.

“This is the bridge we have been looking for, ultimately helping us have better performances in the elite level, like the Asian Games and the Olympic Games,” he said.

“Sports should be inclusive. That is why I am happy about the direction we are taking on collegiate sports because it is an important part of the ladder towards elite sports,” Ramirez added.

Among those present were Robert Milton Calo, executive vice president of the Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP), which is recognized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), and University of Cebu athletic director Jessica Honoridez. (PNA)