Games and Amusements Board pushes for cash assistance for pro boxers, MMA fighters

Apr 2, 2020

AMONG those hit by the no-work, no-pay policies in the middle of enhanced community quarantine are the ranks of professional boxers and other practitioners of combat sports, as well as their trainers.

This was outlined in a letter sent on April 1 by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to the two government agencies that will be spearheading the government's financial assistance and subsidiaries during the COVID-19 crisis.

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On a post in the GAB Facebook page, Chairman Baham Mitra and Commissioners Mar Masanguid and Eduard Trinidad appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development to include these athletes in the Social Amelioration Program.

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"GAB assured our Pinoy boxers, MMA and Muay Thai professional fighters, and their trainers that the Agency will look after their welfare and interest," continued the Facebook post.

The regulatory body also attached a list of GAB-certified boxers, contact sports athletes, and trainers in its letter to the two agencies. "These individuals," it wrote, "are unable to exercise their profession due to the imposed community quarantine and hence are devoid of a source of income."

If qualified, these athletes may receive anywhere from P5,000 to P8,000 ⁠— part of the P200-billion cash assistance program will cover the loss of livehood of over 18 million Filipino families affected by the COVID-19 threat.

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In a press briefing held last March 31, President Duterte called this program the “largest and widest social protection program in the country’s history.”

In the comments section of one of the posts, Mitra confirmed that they also submitted the names of boxing matchmakers.

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Part of the statement read, "GAB vowed to issue certificates in favor of all qualified and legitimate boxing stables in order to expedite the distribution of cash aids and other assitance. Through these efforts, GAB will surely help at least 1,133 individuals who are members of the vulnerable sector."

The move conforms to Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

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