SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, accompanied by Mayor Joedith Gallego and Vice Mayor Thomas Maynard Ledesma, among others, attended the sitting volleyball match involving persons with disabilities at Natalio Velez Sports and Cultural Center in Silay City, Negros Occidental on Wednesday, June 7, as part of the city’s 66th Charter Anniversary Celebration.
The senator has been a staunch advocate for the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities, consistently pushing for inclusive policies and promoting equal opportunities. In his short remarks, Go then expressed his admiration for the skills of PWD athletes and commended the event organizers for their efforts in promoting inclusivity.
“Kung ano po ang aking maitutulong sa inyo, makipag-coordinate lang po kayo sa aking opisina. Maglalaro tayo ulit dito sa Silay (City). Nakakatuwa itong (inisyatibo niyong) sitting volleyball. Ang importante para sa akin ay ma-involve kayo sa sports. Isa ito sa pamamaraan na ilayo natin ang kabataan sa iligal na droga,” Go cited.
“Sabi ko kay Mayor (Gallego), kung anong makakatulong sa inyo, lalo na sa mga grassroots sports programs, lalung-lalo na para sa mga para-athletes natin, andirito lang po ako na handang tumulong sa inyo sa abot ng aking makakaya,” he stressed.
Recognizing the challenges faced by para athletes in their pursuit of sporting excellence, Go has been pushing for Senate Bill No. 2116 which seeks to amend Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10699 or the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.”
If approved, the bill will enhance the incentives for para athletes, bringing them at par with other national athletes competing in international competitions. The proposed measure intends to provide equal opportunities and recognition to all athletes, thereby promoting inclusivity and diversity in sports.
These financial incentives are intended to recognize the effort, commitment, and perseverance of para athletes, while also providing support for their ongoing athletic pursuits.
“Para athletes overcome tremendous challenges and display remarkable determination and skill to compete at the highest level of international sports competitions. However, their exceptional accomplishments often go unrecognized or are overshadowed,” Go remarked previously.
“I have filed a bill to increase the incentives of medalists in international para competitions to be at par with other international competitions of the same caliber,” he said.
He likewise continues to push for SBN 423 or the proposed Philippine National Games Act, which seeks to provide a platform for athletes across the nation, particularly young individuals, to showcase their skills and compete at the national level.
The proposed measure aims to ensure a more inclusive system of promoting promising Filipino athletes who possess potential in various fields of sports to be given an equal opportunity of becoming future contenders in international sporting competitions and cement the country’s status as a “Sports Powerhouse in Asia”.
“The Philippine National Games is a nationwide multi-sport event that aims to unite Filipino athletes from all regions of the country. This event seeks to promote inclusivity, encourage grassroots participation, and discover and develop exceptional talents in various sports disciplines,” explained Go.
Go also attended the city’s Super Health Center groundbreaking and spearheaded a distribution effort for struggling sectors earlier that day.
On the same day, Go was in the province of Iloilo where he attended another Super Health Center groundbreaking, inspected a newly constructed fire station and led a relief activity in the town of Barotac Viejo.
He was also in Banate, Iloilo where he provided relief to typhoon victims.