SPORTS DEV’T. Dr. Jezreel Abarca, the chairperson of the UP-Min Department of Human Kinetics, underscored Monday (Nov. 28, 2022) during the 'Panaghisgot' forum in Davao City the need for the establishment of the Mindanao Sports Development Program. She said it is key to sustaining sports development programs in Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of UP-Min)

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the University of the Philippines-Mindanao (UP-Min), academe and other government agencies convened here Monday for a two-day event to push for sustainable sports development programs in Mindanao.

In a forum here dubbed "Panaghisgot," PSC project development officer Alona Quinto said the Nov. 28-29 gathering seeks to address various concerns, particularly in the sports development programs on the island.

“Mindanao was never a less priority of the PSC. They have a big part of the programs as we produced promising athletes from Mindanao,” she said in an interview.

Quinto said the forum would explain the framework of PSC Chairman Noli Eala as he focused on the grassroots program wherein promising athletes hail from the various local government units.

“It is always partnership when it comes to developing athletes, Chairman Eala said we will never stop supporting, financially or on the technical aspect. That is the direction of PSC, to help the LGUs promote their sports program,” she said.

As part of the effort, Dr. Jezreel Abarca, the chairperson of the UP-Min Department of Human Kinetics, underscored the need for the establishment of the Mindanao Sports Development Program.

Abarca said a holistic program would provide accessible quality academic degree programs and produce culturally sensitive, gender-responsive, globally competitive graduates and sports specialists in Mindanao.

“With this, we can also promote Mindanao-specific research for sustainable programs in sports development, sports science, sports education, physical fitness and well-being,” she said.

The program, she said, would also strengthen the sports programs of the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, and LGUs in Mindanao through sharing of technical expertise and facilities.

Jimmy Musa, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) development management officer and focal person for Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Sociocultural and Education (SCE) Pillar, said his office commits to support sustainable sports development in Mindanao, particularly in the context of BIMP-EAGA sub-regional cooperation.

“We have been playing a key role in coordinating and facilitating the participation of sports athletes and players from various Mindanao LGUs in the BIMP-EAGA Friendship Games since 1996,” he said.

Currently, he said MinDA has provided technical inputs to the terms of reference of the creation of the Youth and Sports Development Working Group as the third strategic priority sector of the BIMP-EAGA SCE Pillar. (PNA)