Sportsman and congressman-elect Mikee Romero of One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1PACMAN) partylist has vowed to push for the creation of a Department of Sports, and for the building of a sports facility which will help Filipino athletes realize their dreams.
“Let’s not take things for granted. We have to change Philippine sports,” said sports godfather Romero on Tuesday at the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at Shakey’s in Malate.
Romero said the root problem why the Philippines always ranked below Top 5 in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is the lack of training infrastructures where Filipino athletes can hone their talents.
In the 2015 SEA Games, the Philippines finished sixth overall with 29 gold, 36 silver and 66 bronze medals.
“We are using a [more than]30-year old infrastructure for a sports program that needs to move forward,” added Romero, who compared the Rizal Memorial Complex to an old cancer apparatus, one that cannot aid a cancer patient now.
Once he assumes his seat in Congress on June 30, one of the bills he will prioritize is the construction of a sports facility in an approximately 100 hectare-lot in Clark, Pampanga.
Romero, a business tycoon, said he would need the help of the private sector and godfathers of Philippine sports to help raise at least P1 billion as seed money for the project.
“Name it. We will gather them for a caucus or conference after June 30 to talk about this and I hope they can commit,” said Globalport Batang Pier team owner Romero.
Aside from basketball, he had sponsored several sports including baseball, volleyball, shooting, equestrian, polo, and cycling, among others.
Another major plan of Romero is the creation of a Department of Sports.
“If we have a seat in the Cabinet, you can air out your needs. We can resolve many issues. At this point in time, the plan is not yet tangible. But I believe creating a Department for Sports would make more pros rather than cons,” Romero said.
He added that he already talked to president-elect Rodrigo Duterte regarding the said plan, and said that “he will help the creation of Department of Sports.”
“He always mentions that ‘change is coming.’ But for Philippine sports is change coming? Change should come. Let’s change the Philippine sports system now,” Romero asserted.
He added that the other program he will work on is to create new jobs, at least one million.