PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez will suggest that sports that can be played while observing physical distancing be allowed to resume once the National Capital Region is put under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Ramirez believes personal outdoor activities do not fall under mass gathering in sports that is prohibited under IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) guidelines in both GCQ and ECG (Enhanced Community Quarantine) conditions.
The IATF maintained that sports-related activities such as "games, tournaments, trainings, and championships" will remain barred once a GCQ is imposed around Metro Manila.
The PSC chief stressed the need for individuals to maintain physical activities to boost their immune system and avoid acquiring the coronavirus.
“Sa guidelines, yes I will verbalize this one in our interview. This is not about sports competitions or a championship,” said Ramirez. “These are outdoor activities. Sa ECQ, palagay ko if they consult us, we’ll suggest it.”
“It’s important that those who are making the decisions will consult the people who know the rules,” the PSC chief added. “So I would like to be heard that these things cannot be stopped."
Over the week, the PSC decided to cancel all major activities under its care and instead, allocated a portion of its budget to helping national athletes and coaches endure the current health crisis.
But Ramirez agreed that physical activities both for athletes and regular fitness buffs should be allowed under the ‘new normal.’
“I don’t believe that we have to stop all of these because it’s very clear in the guidelines that these are the things na puwede,” he said.
Ramirez mentioned sports such as athletics, table tennis, golf, sailing, skateboarding, taichi, kung-fu, taekwondo (form), running, hiking, horseback riding, and badminton singles.
“These are what we call outdoor activities and this is not part of the guidelines of ECQ and GCQ. These doesn’t involved more than 10 persons and wala doon sa guidelines ng IATF,” said the PSC chairman.
At the same time, Ramirez invoked that under the constitution, physical fitness is a must for all Filipinos.
“Fundamentally, the Philippine constitution states the policy to create a healthy and vibrant community because individual health and fitness is an integral fundamental and part of a community to build up a strong country,” he added.
"'Yung virus matatapos din yan, but you can’t stop the physical fitness of somebody because the more he has to have that to strengthen his immunity para hindi siya mapasukan ng virus.”