Almost 21 years ago, on Oct. 24-26, 1992, a Philippine Sports Summit was held in Baguio City. It was the first major project I organized as chair of the Philippine Sports Commission. The chair and vice-chair of the Summit were Sen. Jose D. Lina and Cong. Ramon D. Durano III, respectively. I asked then Presidential daughter, Cristy Ramos, to act as Summit director.
“So, my dear friends, let us learn to diversity our sports programs and our sports orientation. It must be for all.” That was from the speech of then President Fidel V. Ramos at the opening ceremonies.
Appreciating the historical significance of the event as being the first-ever assembly for the purpose of defining the vision and mission of Philippine sports, the delegates came from all parts of the Philippines: 15 regions, representatives from the Philippine Olympic Committee and national sports associations as well as former Health Sec. Juan Flavier and his counterpart from the Department of Local Government, King Sumulong.
For the record, the team leader of the delegates from Region 7 was our own Ernesto “Buddy” Ravello.
The output of the Summit were 37 Resolutions which served as the basis for the issuance of Executive Orders Nos. 63 and 64 by President Ramos, five months later on March 1, 1993.
EO 63 titled, “Creating the National, Regional, Provincial, City, Municipal and Barangay Physical Fitness and Sports Development Councils,” and EO 64, “Adopting the National Policy and Program of ‘Sports for All’ by all Concerned Government Agencies based on the Sport Covenant Forged during the Philippine Sports Summit ’92 held in Baguio City.”
EO 63 defines the nationwide structure for carrying out the program of “Sports for All” as mandated under EO 64. Both Orders provided the answer to the strategic implementation of a national sports development program.
Unfortunately like many legislations, the provisions of the Orders were never carried out, and this could be the reason why after that Summit 21 years ago, we are still without any formal roadmap for sports development in our country. And the reason why we lag behind in international sports.
I am not aware of any region, province, city or municipality that has in place a working Physical Fitness & Sports Development Council. The lead agency responsible for its formation is the DILG.
Prior to my coming to Dumaguete in 2005, I worked as a consultant of the late DILG Sec. Angelo Reyes. He asked me to prepare a Department Order to cause the activation of the PFSDC; unfortunately, he was replaced and assigned to the Energy Department, and in the process, I lost my job, and the draft Order was relegated to my files. And that was how I found my way to Dumaguete City.
God has His own schedule, so they say. And perhaps, His schedule for the creation of a template for the PFSDC will soon be realized in Negros Oriental.
Through the initiative of Foundation University VP for Finance & Administration Dean Sinco, a meeting was held Oct. 3, attended by Provincial Administrator Arnel Francisco, provincial sports official Engr. Dominador “Junny” Dumalag, City Administrator William Ablong, and City Sports Director Joe Guirit.
They agreed that an integrated program for physical fitness and sports be crafted that will synchronize schedules, and will be carried out by an organization as prescribed by Executive Orders 63 and 64.
Under EO 63, the Department of Education provincial superintendent acts as secretary-general of the Council.
Dean Sinco volunteered to have its Institute of Youth Sports for Peace to do the initial organizational work, and hand in the secretariat work to DepEd.
Based on EO 63, the composition of the Negros Oriental PFSDC could look something like this: a) the three congressional representatives as honorary chairpersons; b) the Governor and Vice-Governor as chairman and vice-chairman, respectively; c) the 25 city and municipal mayors and d) the PNP provincial director, provincial SK chairman, and two NGO representatives as members. They will be the policy-making body of the Council.
The executive body will be made up of the 550 barangay captains of the Province as the program of activities will be barangay- and school- based.
Engineer Dumalag made a strong recommendation for the intensive training of coaches, imbued with sound coaching philosophy and values. Dean Sinco batted for the formation of clubs and the institutionalization of an annual schedule of activities and competitions, including the development of a database that will rationalize the movement of athletes from one club to another. Joe Guirit provided insights into the practicality of barangay-based sports.
If we succeed in achieving this plan, Negros Oriental will be the first in the Philippines to have an organization that will be in consonance with the oft-repeated principle of “mass-based” sports. And in the process, it will be a medium to further create unity and goodwill amongst us all in our province of Negros Oriental.