A party-list lawmaker is pushing for the revival of comprehensive sports programs to foster wholesome physical activities among the youth and sustainable produce outstanding Filipino athletes in the coming years.
Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza made the call on Wednesday ahead of the November 30 opening in Manila of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Atienza said the Bureau of Physical Education and School Sports (BPESS) must be brought back to implement a wide range of sports programs across all public and private schools.
“There’s no question highly dynamic school-based individual and team sports will keep many of our children away from drugs while allowing us to spot and develop future athletes at an early age,” Atienza said.
“Congress clearly blundered when it closed down the BPESS,” Atienza added.
The lawmaker cited a global study conducted by the London-based independent journal, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, showing that the Philippines has the second-highest proportion of school-going children aged 11 to 17 lacking physical activity at 93.4 percent.
Globally, an average of 81 percent of school-going children in 146 countries was insufficiently physically active, failing to meet current physical activity guidelines of the World Health Organization.
South Korea had the highest proportion of school-going children with inadequate physical activity at 94.2 percent.
“Vigorous school sports will also help address the utter lack of physical activity among Filipino children,” Atienza said. (PNA)