The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will formally launch the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) on January 16 at the Multi-Purpose Arena in PhilSports Complex in Pasig City.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is expected to lead the inauguration along with PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.
PSI National Training Director Marc Edward Velasco said that the project aims to improve the performance of Filipino athletes in international competitions.
“The athletes and coaches will have a better idea what the PSI is going to offer them during the inauguration and what PSI will bring to the table,” said Velasco in a news conference on Wednesday at the PSC compound in Vito Cruz, Manila.
He added that the PSC is supportive of the creation of the institute, allotting P50 million for the acquisition of new equipment and a P25 million budget per month for operations and projects.
“We cannot expect an athlete to produce a medal if we cannot give them basic support. Right now, I think the board, believes that there is an opportunity for us [to excel in the international arena]by putting up the sports institute,” Velasco said.
According to Velasco, the PSI will be also in charge of grassroots programs and the monitoring of elite athletes. He also mentioned that the Korean Institute of Sports Science has offered the PSI help by sending their experts to the Philippines to conduct training.
Velasco sees the potential of local government units in building sports excellence from the ground up.
“The league of mayors and the league of governors will realize that their constituents can very much be part of the national program. They will know that this is not just for the elite but also for the grassroots as well,” he said.
Part of the immediate plan is to construct a new sports science building and overhaul the PSC gym inside the PhilSports Complex.