PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the creation of the National Academy of Sports (NAS), drawing praises from Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez.
“I firmly believe that with this law, we will be able to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of sports development,” Go, one of the principal authors as chairman of the Senate Sports Committee, said after the President signed Republic Act 11470 in a simple ceremony in Davao City.
The NAS is the country’s first and only dedicated sports institution that would be based at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac. The Bases Conversion and Development Authority will head the construction of the academy.
“We are elated to see the hard work of our leaders in the Senate and Congress come to fruition with this law,” Ramirez said.
“With the establishment of the NAS in very close proximity to world-class facilities at the NCC, student-athletes could enjoy a level of training that is at par with the best in the world and at the same time be given quality education,” Go said.
“As the Chairman of the Committee on Sports, I would like to express my gratitude to my fellow legislators for coming together in support of this measure for the benefit of our youth and for the benefit of Philippine sports,” he added.
The NAS will develop and implement a secondary education program, integrated with a special curriculum on sports, targeting young Filipinos with the talent and desire to develop further their sporting skills. Full scholarship will be offered to qualified natural-born secondary school students.
The institute would be equipped with the necessary sports facilities, housing and other amenities that concur to current international standards.
School buildings with sufficient number of classrooms and facilities would also be constructed at the complex.
The academy would be attached to the Department of Education in close coordination with the PSC, which would be tasked to develop the athletic skills and talents of students.
In addition to honing the students, the academy’s board would also be allowed to approve the hiring of licensed foreign coaches, trainers and consultants certified by the PSC.
The sitting DepEd Secretary would be the first chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees. An executive director with a deep sports background would head the NAS’s operations.