Senator and world boxing's eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao will serve as guest of honor when the Philippine Sports Commission re-launches the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) next Monday at the Philsports compound in Pasig City.
Pacquiao was tapped to inaugurate the PSC’s pet project after original choice President Duterte expressed his unavailability for the event.
PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said Pacquiao is a perfect alternative as the PSI aims to put special premium on grassroots development with 12 regional training centers and 60 sports coordinators all over the country working with local government units in collaboration with the Department of Education.
The PSI will also focus on sports science with Ramirez vowing to come up with a sports science building and purchase sports science equipment, which he said are intended to modernize high-performance training in the next six months.
Pacquiao is in Cayman Island, but is expected to be back later this week in time for the opening of the PSI.
“Senator Pacquiao is a good choice to serve as guest of honor. He is from a province in Mindanao and his exploits in boxing are in line with the objectives of the PSI,” Ramirez said.
“While we support the quest of NSAs (national sports associations) for medals and honors in the international competitions, we would like to take sports science seriously as a provision to help elite athletes and take more important focus on grassroots sports programs.”