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    Bill seeks to ban minors from competing in full-contact sports

    Dec 5, 2020

    STARTING them young may soon be disallowed in full-contact sports competitions.

    Ako Bicol Reps. Alfredo Garbin Jr. and Elizaldy Co have filed House Bill No. 1526, titled An Act Banning Minors from Full-Contact Competitive Sports which seeks to "prohibit the participation of minors in competitive full-contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu, muay thai, judo, and various forms of full-contact karate."

    "While acknowledging the importance, benefits, and values that can be derived from participating in these sports, this bill also recognizes the paramount need to protect the minors. Such responsibility is imposed on parents, guardians, schools, and sports associations because the minors are incapacitated to give consent nor can they waive any right of action for injuries inflicted upon them during and in connection with such activities," it read.

    Full-contact sports was defined in the bill as "any sport for which significant physical impact force, whether deliberate or incidental, on players is allowed for within the rules of the game. It includes but is not limited to boxing, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu, muat thai, judo, and various forms of full-contact karate."


    It seeks to ban athletes under the age of 18 from competing from any full-contact sport competitions, with penalties bound to be levied against parents, guardians, sports associations, organizations, event organizers, schools, and sports educational institutions if proven guilty. Penalties include P50,000 for first offense, P100,000 and/or revocation of business permit for second offense, and P200,000 and/or closure of the establishment for third offense.

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    The Committee on Youth and Sports Development, chaired by Manila third district Rep. Yul Servo Nieto, will have its first reading on the bill on Wednesday, with representatives from Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations of the Philippines (COCOPEA), and National Academy of Sports (NAS) asked to be present.

    Also expected to attend are representatives from 11 national sports associations, namely Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, Inc; Wushu Federation of the Philippines; Jiu-jitsu Federation of the Philippines; Muaythai Association of the Philippines, Inc.; Philippine Judo Federation; Karate Pilipinas Sports Foundation, Inc.; Philippine Taekwondo Association; Wrestling Association of the Philippines; Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation, Inc.; Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas, Inc.; and Philsilat Sports Association, Inc.


    If passed, it's going to be a tough blow for combat sports which have largely utilized grassroots programs to cultivate national athletes.

    Among those to come from the ranks and have won on the international stage are taekwondo jin Japoy Lizardo, karateka Jamie Lim, and wushu athlete Agatha Wong.

    Milo Sports Clinics have partnered with Association for the Advancement of Karatedo (AAK) and the Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) over the years to teach and discover young talents who can represent the country in international tournaments.

    Collegiate leagues like the UAAP and the NCAA have also staged competitions for the high school division in taekwondo and judo.

    The Philippines have also sent young athletes to the Asean School Games and Asian Youth Games for taekwondo, wushu, and pencak silat competitions, as well as in the Youth Olympics, where boxing, judo, karate, and wrestling are played.



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