Eight-division boxing champion, now Senator, Manny Pacquiao has filed Senate Resolution No 688 directing the Senate Committee on Sports to conduct in aid of legislation an inquiry on the current sad state of the Rizal Sports Complex and other sports facilities in the country.
In sponsorship speech delivered last Tuesday, Pacquiao seeks the help of his fellow legislators in the Upper Chamber to address the lack of sustainable facilities, which, he said, is the reason that hinders the Filipino athletes in their quest for honor and fame for the country and themselves in the global arena, including the Olympics.
“We should not allow his lack of required facilities to continue. As legislators, we should contribute ours best efforts in helping our athletes and sports officials achieve bigger dream,” the only man on earth to win world championships in the flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and super-welterweight, said.
“Filipinos have been making a mark in the global arena because of our unmistakable passion for sports,” he said. “However, the state of the different sports facilities in the country shows that sports do not rank on the top of our priority list.”
Pacquiao stressed the need to correct this situation, sports being a necessary program for the development of the holistic health of the citizens. “If Filipinos are known globally in sports despite the limitations, imagine the possibilities if we rectify the situation.”
“Mr. President, if we expect our athletes to excel in the global platform, we need to give more than what we have already given them,” the former two-time congressman asserted.
“Kailangan po nating magtulungan upang mabigyan ng tamang solusyon ang mga problema na pumipigil sa pag-arangkada ng pag-asenso ng ating mga atleta, “he said.
Pacquiao recalled that when he visited the 1934-built RMSC December last year, he was surprised seeing the same things that already existed when he used to train at the ame place in the 80s without improvements.
“Teen-ager pa lang ako noon, Mr. President. Doon po ako nag-training ng boxing. Doon po nabuo ang aking mga pangarap, “he reminisced. “Sira-sira na po ang aming mga gamit sa training at hindi na rin maayos and mga pasilidad.”
“Noong ako ay bumisita pagkatapos ng maraming taon, wala po akong nakitang improvements. Mas lalong kalunos-lunos ang kalagayan. Nakakalungkot, “he observed.
“Saan tayo nakakita ng world-class divers na sa kutson nagdidive? Ng world-class athletes na sa sira-sirang punching bag sumusuntok? Nagtitiis sa mga sira-sira at bulok na mga pasilidad and mga nais magbigay ng karangalan sa ating bayan.”
“Yet we aspire for that Olympic gold. Pababayaan na lang ba natin na mas lalong mabulok and pasilidad? Pababayaan na lang ba natin ang ating mga atletang magtiyaga sa init at kalawang kahit na iniaalay nila ang kanilang sarili para sa karangalan ng ating bansa?
By EDDIE G. ALINEA