Press Release
November 19, 2019

Transcript of the manifestations of Senator Pia S. Cayetano during the plenary deliberations on the budget of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)

On the Class 1 certification of the New Clark City (NCC) Athletic Stadium

I am personally aware, because I followed its construction, that the New Clark City stadium has a Class 1 international certification. To be able to get that, aside from the main track oval, [there is] another track oval. Because you need a warm-up track beside the main track so people can practice before their event.

In addition to that, under the bleachers, there is an 18-meter track so that they can do their last-minute warm up. So to be able to do that in the Rizal Memorial Complex, they would have to demolish either the multi-purpose building or other structures. I am just putting that into perspective because [the NCC] has open space.

And one more thing [as a former student-athlete], aside from running around the track oval, the NCC allows them to run in a park-like environment outside. It looks like you are in nature as opposed to running in sadly - maybe we can rehabilitate it one day - the Roxas Boulevard. That's the main difference that I'd like to put on the floor as somebody who appreciates the NCC.

How important are the NCC sports facilities to national athletes

You know, when I went there on a couple of occasions, one time, I was with the National Track Team, they were crying when they stepped on the turf. Kasi, sabi nila, nagte-training sila sa Pangasinan... they are not even training in Metro Manila because they have no decent track to train on.

I don't really know the condition of the track either. I don't even train regularly anymore. But when I stepped on the track, ibang klase para kang lumulutang.

Then sabi ko, here are these athletes, this is their job, this is their life. And ngayon lang sila nakatikim ng ganun. So it really felt so good to be able to see on their faces, in their smiles, in their actions that they were full of joy to be able to do this.

And something that I found very interesting was that in the years and decades to come, they don't have to travel abroad to qualify for other international events because we can host those events now.

For now, we don't host any events because we're not qualified in any event. So not only do we not have these international events to encourage young people to see what athletic life is like, our athletes even have to go abroad just to qualify for another event.

I also had the opportunity to see the swimmers. There have already been national swimming competitions in the pool. Again, just like the track, you have a 50-meter, 10-lane pool and then there's another pool for warm up that's 50 meters long and 8 lanes. So it kinda looks excessive if you ask me, until you learn that that is the requirement to be a certified Class 1 sports facility. Ganun talaga if we want to not just host the events, but treat our athletes like the heroes we say they are. But we don't treat them as such.

So on that note, one last point... Because I actually have my own friends who are athletes, I also get asked: Is it excessive? Is it overpriced? I am not asking this question because my brother is the Speaker of the House, but it's a question I'd like to hear the answer to so that I can also explain to my friends, to my constituents, to my athlete friends and the athletes that I feel I represent.

Thank you.

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