Home PHL News Senate Approves Philippine National Games Bill on Second Reading

Senate Approves Philippine National Games Bill on Second Reading

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has given its nod to Senate Bill No. 2514, known as the Philippine National Games (PNG) bill, on its second reading on Tuesday, May 14. The bill, championed by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, aims to bolster grassroots sports development and establish a structured national sports program across the Philippines.

The bill successfully passed the period of interpellations and amendments after incorporating significant revisions to enhance its inclusivity and comprehensiveness. Go, the principal sponsor and author of the measure, expressed his enthusiasm for the bill, which he likens to a “mini-Olympics” intended to be held biennially.

“Napaka-importante po nitong Philippine National Games, para po itong mini-Olympics. Every two years po itong gaganapin, at makikita natin na doon po madidiskubre ito pong mga atleta na nasa malalayong lugar dahil marami rin pong potential athletes doon,” Go said previously.

As chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, Go underscored the importance of the amendments introduced, which aim to broaden the bill’s scope and objectives. “The amendments ensure that the PNG will not only serve as the only national sports competition but also recognize other similar initiatives while also providing opportunities for para-athletes and other local sports competitions,” Go stated.

Key changes to the bill include rephrasing PNG’s role to serve as one of the country’s national sports competitions, thereby acknowledging the importance of other significant events like the Palarong Pambansa. The revisions also explicitly include para-athletes, ensuring equal opportunities for athletes with disabilities.

“The changes reflect our commitment to a more inclusive sports program that reaches all levels of our society. This bill will help discover and nurture talent from every corner of the Philippines,” Go remarked.

Additionally, the bill now mandates that the Philippine National Games be held in collaboration with municipalities under the jurisdiction of the provinces and cities, ensuring broader participation. Coordination with the Palarong Pambansa and other local and international competitions has been emphasized to avoid scheduling conflicts and prioritize the welfare of the athletes.

A provision was also approved to prevent athletes from switching delegations after participating in qualifying competitions, ensuring fair play and consistent representation. Furthermore, the amendments allow the use of school facilities of the Department of Education (DepEd) for the PNG, with a preference for using other facilities first to accommodate the needs of the event.

With the second reading approval, the bill moves one step closer to becoming law. Go expressed optimism about its impact, saying, “This bill, if enacted, will pave the way for a more organized and inclusive sports development program in our country.”

“It is a significant stride towards nurturing our athletes and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among Filipinos,” concluded Go, while reiterating his appeal to the youth to engage in sports, stay away from illegal drugs, and maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle.