Leyte to institutionalize grassroots sports program

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TACLOBAN CITY: Institutionalizing the government-run sports program of the Leyte Sports Academy (LSA) is seen by lawmakers to ensure budget and assistance to the program from the provincial government.

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Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said that the provincial board is already readying an ordinance institutionalizing the six-year program which was started during the administration of former governor Carlos Jericho Petilla aimed at developing a comprehensive sports program for Leyte’s aspiring athletes.

It was earlier reported that LSA’s operation this year is facing a budgetary problem after the Commission on Audit disallowed the provincial government to use budget under Special Education Fund for sports development.

The fund supports all the necessary equipment, accommodation and lodgings, trainors and coaches of the sports scholars under the program. They are likewise enrolled in academic training.

Loreto admits the program’s operation is very expensive, as the province spends P1.5 million to P2 million for it every year.

However, Loreto said that with the world-class performance and achievements the LSA athletes have given the province in national and international competition, the program will be hard to lose.

In the September 6 regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the province approved a supplemental budget to support LSA operations for the remaining part of the year.

When LSA celebrated its anniversary this August, Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla said it may already be a good time to expand the program to include athletes from other parts of the region. When these athletes compete, they still represent the province or the region they come from.

From athletics, swimming and boxing when it opened in 2010, LSA now also offers scholarships in powerlifting, wrestling, taekwondo and wushu. LSA currently has 120 sports scholars.

PNA

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