Villanueva pushes for grassroots approach to develop Filipino athletes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 15, 2019   •   278

Senator Joel Villanueva

Senator Joel Villanueva said there is a need for a grassroots approach in order to develop Filipino athletes.

In a statement, the senator said the lack of organization at the grassroots level prevents our national sports associations from getting the athletes who can be trained to compete in the long term.

“Talent is scattered everywhere in our 7,000 islands, and it is up to us in government to be able to find these people and cultivate their skills so they can carry on with our quest to deliver the country’s first Olympic gold in over 90 years since we first competed in the Games,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva made the statement after the recent wins of gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxer Nesthy Petecio over the weekend.

READ: PSC to provide cash incentives to athletes Yulo, Petecio, Marcial et al

Meanwhile, Villanueva and other senators continue to push for the proposed bill that will create the Philippine High School for Sports. It is an institution that will raise the quality of our young athletes which will make them competitive in the world stage.

“We will see to it that the proposed measure will live up to the dreams of our young athletes of having a specialized school that trains our future champions,” according to Villanueva.—AAC

Senate OKs Malasakit Center bill on final reading

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to institutionalize the establishment of Malasakit Centers in hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH) across the country.

The Senate Bill No. 1076 or the Malasakit Center Act of 2019 was approved with 18 affirmative and zero negative votes.

The measure seeks the establishment of one-stop-shop centers for medical and financial assistance provided by the DOH, Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office in all 73 DOH-run hospitals nationwide.

“We are a step closer towards making quality health care more accessible and affordable for all Filipinos, especially the indigent and poor patients in need of medical assistance from the government,” Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the author and sponsor of the bill, said in a speech after the bill was passed.

Citing a 2017 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Go said that out-of-pocket payment accounted for 55 percent of health expenditures despite benefits provided by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“To clarify, we are not providing additional funds for assistance, we are merely establishing a one-stop-shop for medical and financial assistance,” he further stated, adding that there are currently 50 Malasakit Centers nationwide serving 160,000 patients.

Under the bill, hospitals run by local government units (LGUs) and other public hospitals may also establish their own Malasakit Centers provided that they guarantee the availability of funds for the operation of their centers including its maintenance, personnel, staff training, among others.

Patients who would be admitted to LGU and other public hospitals but are eligible for medical and financial assistance could also seek assistance from the Malasakit Centers.

Among the functions of the Malasakit Centers would be to provide patients with a referral to the health care provider networks as well as information on membership, coverage and benefits packages in the National Health Insurance Program.

The bill hurdled the Senate after it adopted amendments introduced by Senators Risa Hontiveros and Franklin Drilon.

Hontiveros said that Malasakit Centers should provide “critical information on healthy behaviors and conduct health promotion activities in the hospital” as well as “further enhance the health promotion function of the center.”

Drilon, meanwhile, said the measure should not limit the “access to or availability of medical and financial assistance only to indigent and financially incapacitated patients referred through Malasakit Centers.”

Inoue lets Donaire borrow Muhammad Ali trophy for his sons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 8, 2019

Naoya Inoue (L) of Japan lets Filipino-American boxer Nonito Donaire (R) borrow the Muhammad Ali trophy for his sons after the latter bowed to the Japanese by unanimous decision on Thursday at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo: World Boxing Super Series Instagram Account)

After winning the bantamweight championship of the World Boxing Super Series, Naoya Inoue lets Nonito Donaire borrow Muhammad Ali trophy in order to fulfill a promise to his sons.

In his Facebook post, Donaire said he promised his sons that he would take home the trophy if he wins his fight against Inoue for the bantamweight championship on Thursday (November 7) at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

But Inoue won by unanimous decision and is set to take home the championship.

“I humbly asked Inoue to borrow it for a night, not for me but for my word. It’ll be a life lesson my boys will soon learn,” Donaire said in his post.

“It’ll pain them to see my face. They’ll kiss my wounds. They’ll see a trophy we don’t get to take home and understand what it means to want to train harder,” he added.—AAC

Samantha Catantan wins gold medal in Asian Fencing Championship

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2019

Samantha Catantan

Philippine bet Samantha Catantan bagged the gold medal at the Asian U23 Fencing Championships Women’s Individual Foil competition on Thursday (October 24) in Bangkok, Thailand.

The 17-year-old secured first place after defeating Choi Yu Min of South Korea, 15-9.

This is the country’s first Women’s individual gold medal in the Asian Under-23 Fencing Championship.

In 2017, Catantan won the silver medal in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.—AAC

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