PSC plans to revive Mindanao Friendship Games in 2008

Victorio Sai, Davao City Sports Council, Inc. (DCSCI) president, said PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez has expressed desire to revive the MFG, a sport for peace program in Mindanao. 

“The Chairman (Ramirez) wants to announce the idea of reviving the MFG before he left for the US,” said Sai in a previous Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) Forum. 

After three staging, the MFG, which had sent a strong message of peace in the region, was scrapped in the calendar of the national sports agency due to funding shortage. 

It was first held in Tubod, Lanao Del Norte in 2001, then in Cagayan De Oro City the following year, and finally in Mati, Davao Oriental in 2003. 

The MFG, which features multi-sports competition among the local government units, was halted in 2004. 

Sai, a veteran sports leader, said the national sports agency’s budget for 2008 was increased after Ramirez, touted as the brainchild of the MFG, successfully defended it in Congress. 

“The increase of the PSC budget was the reason behind the revival next year of several grassroots development programs, including the Mindanao Friendship Games and perhaps the Philippine National Games (PNG),” said Sai, who is also a sports editor of one of the local dailies in this city. 

The PSC wants to hold the revival of the MFG in Zamboanga City, according to Sai. He added the PSC intends to boost up its grassroots development program in search for new talents for the national team. 

Signaling the revival of the MFG, a PSC sports summit will be held in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Nov. 4 to 7. 

The PSC sports summit aims to help LGUs draft policies on grassroots sports development program. 

“With the sports summit, LGUs would have an easy time to form teams for the Mindanao Friendship Games,” said Sai. Several LGUs have also expressed desire to host a sports summit, Sai added. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)