SPORTS DEVELOPMENT. Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez poses with Senators Bong Go and Manny Pacquiao after a Senate hearing at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Wednesday (Mar. 4, 2020). Several bills which seeks to boost sports development have been discussed. (Photo courtesy of PSC)

MANILA -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) was a busy agency Wednesday as both the Congress and Senate called hearings on proposed bills seeking to boost sports development in the country.

The Senate Committee on Sports headed by Senator Bong Go called for a hearing on the creation of the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission, as proposed by Senators Manny Pacquiao and Bong Revilla.

Senate Bills 193 and 805, submitted for approval by Pacquiao and Revilla respectively, both seek to create a separate government body to oversee the concerns of professional boxing.

PSC chairman William Ramirez, PSC commissioner Charles Maxey, and Games and Amusement Board chairman Baham Mitra were both part of the resource group, along with representatives from the Department of Budget and Management, Social Security System, PhilHealth, PagIBIG Fund, Department of Health, Governance Commission for GOCCs, Elorde Promotions and Muaythai associations.

Ramirez proposed several possible ways to address concerns raised on the floor such as travel tax exemptions and medical provisions.

“This is good that we are here and discussing this because we can see how we call all work together,” Ramirez said during the hearing.

There will be subsequent consultative hearings to continue discussing the feasibility of said bill.

In Congress, the PSC was represented by Marc Velasco Sr., executive assistant and national training director in the discussion of House Bill 4594, with Leyte 4th District Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez as proponent.

The bill, which seeks to institutionalize a comprehensive national grassroots sports development program centered in the Philippine National Games, seeks to deepen the provisions of the existing law of the PNG (Executive Order #163, 1994) and make it a more effective tool to discover new sports talents for the country.

Another bill eyeing more commendations for the Filipino athletes who won medals abroad like the Southeast Asian Games was discussed at the House of Representatives.

“Change is not always easy, but as public servants let us put in extra effort to study well and weigh effects and consequences of everything,” said Ramirez. “Be an agent of change for as long as you also make every effort to ensure that those changes are for the better.”

Ramirez also took the opportunity to meet with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Minority Leader Senator Franklin Drilon to discover various issues in sports and possible collaborations. (PR)