The Philippine Football Federation signed an agreement with the Department of Education on Thursday to strengthen its grassroots football development program.
Called KASIBULAN, the program aims to encourage children between six to 12 years old from all over the country to play football.
“We want students to enjoy football,” said education secretary Armin Luistro. “We can bring out of school youths and Filipinos in danger of being out of school to continue to go to school.”
In KASIBULAN, coaches from the provincial football associations will teach basic football skills to selected public school teachers, who will guide students to learn the sport before letting them participate in football festivals that will be conducted nationwide.
The program has been running since February, and has since reached 99,000 children participating in 198 festivals. But the PFF has encountered problems with the availability of teachers and students.
The Memorandum of Agreement with DepEd addresses that problem.
“It’s a good program,” PFF president Mariano Araneta said. “We cannot deny that public schools have the most number of kids.”
With the program, the PFF and the DepEd hopes to see results in the next five to six years, hoping to have new talent ready to join national teams in the future. Aquilino Pastoral III, head of the federation’s grassroots development, said that it would server as a feeder for Project 2019, which targets the Philippines’ qualification for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup slated that year.
“Doon na papunta ito,” said Pastoral.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has pledged P20 million to fund the project.
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