Philippines to build national sports school

The New Clark City main stadium. © BCDA
The New Clark City main stadium. © BCDA

Manila, Philippines, March 4, 2020: The Senate has approved, on the third and final reading and by a margin of 21-0-0, a bill seeking the establishment of a dedicated national high school for sport.

It will be built at New Clark City – the hub of the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games located 110km north of Manila and incorporating a main athletics stadium, swimming complex and village.

According to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on education, arts and culture, the passage of the measure will help “train and develop future generations of world champion Philippine athletes.”

Despite the fact that Filipinos love sport, Gatchalian noted that the Philippines has been lagging behind other countries in sporting competitions and events, citing the country’s failure to deliver an Olympic gold medal despite taking part in the Olympic Games since 1924.

The senator stressed that Filipino athletes lacked the support they needed to succeed, unlike in other countries.

“The end view of this legislation is to unleash the potential of young Filipinos who have shown the early potential of excelling in sports for a sports-related career,” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian explained that the Philippine High School for Sports (PHSS) would be a “world-class educational and athletics facility which is at par with international standards.”

Under the proposed law, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will be mandated to provide the land for the PHSS at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac and will be in charge of the construction of classrooms, dormitories, other sports facilities and related amenities.

The PHSS will offer full or partial scholarship programmes to students who have demonstrated the potential of excelling in sports. At the same time it will provide its students with quality secondary education in their chosen track and will be under the supervision of the Department of Education.