Romero, 1Pacman to push creation of Department of Sports
ABS-CBN Sports on May 31, 2016 06:06 PM
You will have a budget from the national treasury. Sports will no longer have to beg for our athletes. It will have its own budget, its own platform --- Party List Representative Mikee Romero on creation of Department of Sports
Newly-elected Party List Representative Mikee Romero on Tuesday said Philippine sports will only get to see better days if the national government and the private sector will fully work hand in hand.
Romero, an avid sportsman and one of the country’s top businessmen, was elected to Congress during the May 9 elections under the banner of 1Pacman, which garnered over 1.3 million votes.
Even during the campaign period, Romero has batted for the creation of a Department of Sports (DOS), saying it will solve the perennial problem of lack of budget for sports and the national athletes.
He also pushed for the construction of a massive national training center somewhere in Pampanga to replace old venues like the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Romero, current team owner of Globalport in the Philippine Basketball Association, said the creation of a DOS would mean that sports will carry its own voice in the Cabinet.
“You will have a budget from the national treasury. Sports will no longer have to beg for our athletes. It will have its own budget, its own platform,” Romero said in the session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Romero, who’s into the port, construction and air transport business, said it’s about time to shelve the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), a line agency that was created in 1990.
The lack of budget, he said, has always been the number one excuse each time the country fails to deliver
the medals in the international events like the SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics.
“Money has always been a very, very big aspect in sports,” said Romero, who in 2014 ranked No. 33 in the Forbes list of the 50 richest Filipinos with a net worth of $375 million.
Romero, also a big supporter of shooting, cycling, volleyball and polo, is willing to dig into his own pocket to help Philippine sports.
But he said it should be a partnership between the government and the private sector.
“It should be a joint undertaking. We need to have the private sector, people like Danding Cojuangco, Ramon Ang, Manny Pangilinan, Wilfred Uytengsu and Jean Henry Lhuillier to partner with the government,” he said.
The Philippine Olympic Committee, he said, should also play a role in this undertaking.
“I will call of these godfathers to a caucus or a forum, to invite them and let them commit if we can come up with a seed money of P1 billion for the new training center,” he said.
Romero admitted that the creation of a DOS “will take longer” than expected but stressed that he will use his current position to push for it.
“I will push for it until it becomes a law,” said Romero, hoping for inclusion in the House Committee on Youth and Sports in the 17th Congress.
“As (incoming) President (Rodrigo) Duterte said, ‘Change is coming.’ Let us also change the course of Philippine sports,” he said.