MANILA, MARCH 5, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Olmin Leyba - (PHOTO -Vice President Jejomar Binay hands boxing president Ricky Vargas the Executive of the Year award during the PSA Awards Night Saturday at the Manila Hotel. Vargas’ Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines also received the citation as one of the two most outstanding NSAs, the other being the billiards association. JOEY MENDOZA)

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay has given Filipino athletes an assurance of the government’s continuing efforts to find ways to improve the state of Phl sports amid lack of funding that hampers its development.

Speaking during the PSA (Philippine Sportswriters’ Association) Awards Night at the Manila Hotel last Saturday, where he led the feting of top sports achievers led by billiards champ Dennis Orcollo, Binay told the athletes not to lose hope as the government is looking for means to address the problem.

“Unti-unti po nating mapupuno ang pagkukulang na matagal ninyong ininda. At hindi po magtatagal, madarama ninyo ang pagsapit ng bagong amihan sa gitna ng inyong paglalakbay (Little by little, we can fill in the shortfall that you’ve long been enduring. And pretty soon, you feel the dawn of a better times as you embark on your journey),” Binay said.

He did not say whether the national government will allocate additional funding to sports, though.

But the Vice President said the first steps have been taken with the holding of the sports summit by the Philippine Sports Commission recently, wherein local government officials and representatives of other sectors were asked to participate and get involved in grassroots sports development.

And rightly so.

“Involving our mayors and governors in the process (of sports development) can more quickly decentralize the selection of athletes and the sourcing of funding,” he said.

The private sector, he maintained, should also be asked to chip in.

“If our biggest businesses and companies can create sports teams to help market their products, there is no reason why they cannot be invited to support the teams that carry our national colors and defend our country’s pride,” Binay said.

Binay acknowledged that lack of funding “ hampers Filipinos’ ability to be at par with Asian neighbors in the fields of sports science and athletic development.”

“Kung ihahambing sa mga atleta mula sa mga karatig bansa sa Asya, ang mga manlalaro natin ay kinukulang sa kagamitan, sa mga pasilidad para sa pag-ensayo at sa pagdaraos ng mga palaro (Compared with their counterparts in Asia, our athletes lack in equipment and facilities they need to train and compete)” he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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