MANILA – The year 2023 is a busy year for the sports community as the world catches up after the lockdowns triggered by the pandemic.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) backs the national team in nine major competitions across the globe next year.

The commission proposed a total budget of more than PHP546 million to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for five of these nine sporting events to provide for the needs of the national athletes and send them to various international multisport tournaments next year.

The PSC proposed the highest budget portion of PHP250 million for the country’s participation in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 2-16, 2023.

The government sports agency expressed hope that the national athletes would surpass the previous fourth place finish in the biggest biennial multisport event in the region.

“We are hoping that the proposed budget will be approved by our country’s leaders. As a former athlete, the unwavering support of the government, along with the full backing of the Filipino people are vital for our success,” PSC Commissioner and office in charge Bong Coo said in a news release on Tuesday.

The budget for participation in the Asean Para Games and Asian Para Games and two world-level competitions of FIBA and FIFA are still being finalized as of this writing.

The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China slated to be held from September 23 to October 8 next year, gets a PHP100 million budget. During the 18th edition in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia in 2018, Team Philippines won four gold, two silver, and 15 bronze medals.

The country is also eyeing to send the national athletes to the 4th World Combat Games in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Oct. 5-14, 2023, with a proposed budget of PHP72 million, followed by the 6th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok-Chonburi, Thailand on Nov. 17-26, 2023 with a proposed budget of PHP67 million, and the 2nd World Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia on Aug. 5-15, 2023 with a proposed fund of PHP56 million.

The PSC also believes that the country’s para-athletes will continue their success and even up their game as they see action at the 12th Asean Para Games in Cambodia on June 3-9, 2023 and the Hangzhou Asian Para Games set on Oct. 22-28 next year.

Coo remarked that they are “happy and proud that our Filipino athletes have reached this level and are up against the best teams in the world and we support them in any way we can.” (PNA)