Buhain to file House measure on accountability of NSAs; upgrade welfare of former Olympians, active nat’l athletes

Buhain to file House measure on accountability of NSAs; upgrade welfare of former Olympians, active nat’l athletes

MANILA — Eric Buhain practically knows Philippine sports like the back of his hand and “what ails Philippine sports.”

And it’s no surprise as Buhain led the country’s two leading government sports agencies – the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) – as Chairman before.

Aside from this, Buhain is an Olympian, SEA Games swimming record holder, and Philippine Sports Hall-of-Famer.
Now as a lawmaker, after being elected last May as Congressman of the 1st District of Batangas, Buhain aims to make the best of his knowledge and experiences as he is pushing to propose a bill that will strengthen the power of both the PSC and GAB in the aspect of overseeing and accountability over national sports associations (NSAs) while assuring security and additional incentives to athletes and coaches.
“Sports is the right of every Filipino and not a privilage for some individual or group. Not for members only or club affiliation only. Kailangan nating mabigyan ng tunay na pagkalinga ang ating mga atleta at pananagutin yung mga sports association na talagang nagpapabaya sa kanilang mga responsibilidad,” said Buhain during the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports, Inc. (TOPS) ‘Usapang Sports’ forum on Thursday at the Behrouz Restaurant in Timog, Quezon City.

“Nagpapasalamat ako aking mga kasamahan sa Kongreso at ako ay nabigyan ng pagkakataon na maging co-chairman ng Youth and Sports as well as the Games and Amusements Committee. Right now, with the help of my former colleage, sportsmen and friends, nabuo namin itong three priority bills na ipo-propsosed ko sa Kongreso,” added Buhain ng the weekly sports forum sponsored by the PSC, GAB, Pagcor and Behrouz, as the official venue.

Buhain said he will refile House Bill 8910 (An Act to Strengthening the Games and Amusements Board) with the major purpose of establishing an ‘Athlete’s Welfare Fund’ for retired professional athletes. The said bill was unanimously approved on the third and final reading by the 17th Congress in 2019.

“Napakaimportante ng bill na ito dahil nakapaloob din dito yung power to prescribe rules sa regulation and supervision ng sabong, e-sabong, esports and other pro sports. Mas mabibigyan natin ng ngipin ang GAB para masawata yung mga illegal bookies and other activities within pro sports,” claimed Buhain.

Additional power over the National Sports Associations (NSA) through amendment is the second priority bill of Buhain, and the third is the Philippine Olympian Bill which the former swimming champion conceptualized with the help of fellow Olympian Akiko Thomson and Ral Rosario and mentor and another Olympian coach Carlos ‘Pinky’ Brosas.

Brosas, who joined Buhain in the forum, said it’s now time to give more support to Filipino Olympians, particularly those who retired without permanent jobs and savings.

“Health care, pension, and possibly regular job for our retired Olympian. Ilan lang ang Olympian natin nasa 300 lang yata kami at marami na ang nawala, just last night we received the sad news of Diay’s demise,” said Brosas, referring to former Olympian and Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega, who died Wednesday night after a long bout of breast cancer.

Buhain said he is confident that his fellow Congressman will support the said bills when he officially files it at the soonest possible time.

“Co-chairman din ng sports and youth commitee si Cong Richard Gomez. Maraming sportsmen sa aming hanay ngayon kaya malaki ang paniwala ko na masusuportahan ang proposed bill na ito,” said Buhain. (ai/mtvn)

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