MANILA, Philippines — Physical Education (PE) subjects in the basic education curriculum would be crucial should the country push through with a Philippine National Games that seeks to find new talents in sports, the Philippine Athletics Track And Field Association (Patafa) said on Monday.

Patafa secretary general Edward Kho during the hearing of the House of Representatives’ Committee on youth and sports development warned that not paying attention to PE subjects would not allow the country to maximize the benefits of a Philippine National Games.


Kho explained during the said hearing on Monday that if young Filipino athletes joining the national games would not be subjected to a rigorous PE subject, then their performance might be subpar.

“Before we wish (for) high level performance we need to make sure that at the base of the so-called pyramid, we are teaming with the possible candidates” Kho told lawmakers.


“We need to strongly make a serious revisit on the importance of putting back physical education in the curriculum otherwise we might not be able to get the full benefit of having these commendable Philippine national games and all other high level national competitions geared towards producing top level athletes,” he added.

To address this issue, Patafa said that more time should be allocated to PE subjects unlike the current situation where there are only one or two days given to PE classes.

“We are talking about high level sport performance but it is strongly connected with the physical literacy of our entire population,” Kho added.

The said House panel was deliberating House Bills 934, 1954, 2968 and 4881 — all of which seek to institutionalize the Philippine National Games.  One of the bills’ authors, Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez, said that the bill would solve the long standing absence of a sports program that would develop young athletes.

If the bills are enacted, the games would be held once every two years.

“This proposed bill seeks to find solution to this dilemma of Philippine sports by providing a structure for truly, integrated and comprehensive national sports program linking the grassroots sports promotion to the elite sports development and encourage all local government officials to promote the development of sports in the countryside covering all barangays, towns, municipalities, cities and provinces,” Gomez said during the hearing.

“The Philippines is always eager for medals. We recognize the efforts and capabilities of our athletes but the sad reality is that there is a perennial lack of athletes and the lack of poor inadequately trained athletes,” he added.


Patafa president Agapito Capistrano said they support the measure, but noted that the country should utilize the Department of Education (DepEd) to prepare young athletes for these games, considering that they have the widest network compared to other national sports agencies (NSAs).

“DepEd is the only institution that was mentioned throughout this morning that has reach to every barrio to every barangay in the Philippines and it’s the only organization with this kind of network,” Capistrano said.

“This is the largest sports network that you can have in your hands or that is available right now. I don’t think any NSA can reach these LGU (local government unit) levels” he added.

After the discussions, the panel approved the bill with members agreeing to ask LGUs to allocate at least one percent of their internal revenue allotment to help the program, aside from placing an allocation of P200 million to cover the games. —With reports from Trisha Manalaysay, trainee


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