In line with the Philippines’ dream of winning its very first Olympic gold medal, 1Pacman party-list No. 1 nominee Dr. Mikee Romero said that he would give up his monthly salary if elected and that he would seek more ways to increase the funds for the country’s elite and promising athletes.
“I will not get my salary if given the chance to serve the country as a member of the Congress. I will form a team to select young and promising talents who will receive my financial help,” said Romero.
Romero, one of the youngest billionaires in the country, is also eager to bring back the “godfather system” in Philippine sports in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s high time to bring back the godfather system in sports,” said Romero, part owner of AirAsia Philippines and responsible for building the world-class passenger terminal at North Harbor.
Romero knows firsthand the benefits of the “godfather system,” being the chief backer of the Philippine basketball team that shone during the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.
Led by cagers that are now PBA stars among them Jayson Castro, Beau Belga, and Gabe Norwood, the 2007 Philippine team got top class training through the support of the Globalport owner and virtually turned the SEA Games competition into its own playground.
Romero plans to talk to several giant corporations and convince them to adopt an athlete or a team that is representing the country in international competitions.
“Kailangang mabusog ng pagmamahal ang mga atleta natin and we can only do that if we provide them all they need – pera para sa pamilya nila bukod sa first class training na kailangan nila,” he said.
“Kapag nasa competition ang mga atleta natin, especially in the Olympics, dapat worry-free sila para maganda ang chance nilang manalo ng ginto,” he added.
Romero also plans to boost the country’s ties with some European powers and invite top coaches to beef up the capabilities of Filipino athletes.
“I will make sure to invite coaches with huge success in the Olympics so they can share their winning formula to our athletes,” said Romero.
Meanwhile, Table Tennis Association of the Philippines Secretary-General Jose Cawed said that Philippine sports are in dire need of someone to champion their cause like Romero.
Cawed said Romero has long been a benefactor of the local sports community, “I am sure the sports community will be better with him there [Congress], “ he concluded.
Other local athletes also welcome Romero’s vision for Philippine sports, “I have no any idea about that partylist [1-Pacman] but we’re willing to support his bid if he’s going to do it for the athletes. If it’s for the athletes, that will be good. We will be thankful and blessed,” said Rio-bound boxer Charly Suarez.
Another Olympic bet, taekwon do jin Kirstie Elaine Alora also sees hope in Romero, “The initiative of Mikee Romero, if ever he wins, is good for fellow athletes and fellow Filipinos that’s why we’re supporting him.”
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID