THE Games and Amusement Board has submitted to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) a 59-page document that it hopes serves as guide in finally allowing the reopening of professional sports in the country.
The manuscript is entitled ‘Proposed Framework for the Resumption of Professional Sports in the Philippines in Anticipation to the New Normal,’ and drafted by the sports regulatory government agency led by chairman Abraham Mitra in direct consultation with the different professional sports in the country including the PBA.
It intends to ensure the safe return of local sporting and amusement events that were indefinitely suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The documents, according to GAB, should likewise be of help in assessing all the risk factors and the earliest and most reasonable time for the resumption of professional sports events, such as basketball, boxing, muay thai, MMA, motocross, triathlon and amusement games like horse racing, while putting into consideration the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on the lives of Filipino professional athletes and other GAB licensees.
“We are in close coordination with the different professional sports bodies. PFF (Philippine Football Federation) submitted its operational protocols last week, while the PBA submitted its own health and safety guidelines last Friday,” said Mitra on Tuesday.
“PFF is proposing to adopt a ‘No spectators rule and to shorten football conferences,’” added Mitra.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial said the league is in close coordination with GAB ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus, even as the pro league has also submitted to the IATF its own safety protocols which will be implemented if it is finally allowed to resume team trainings.
“Sa amin parang may dagdag pa ng kaunti especially doon sa protocols (ng GAB) sa mga venues. Pero may coordination kami with chairman Mitra at sa mga commissioners,” said Marcial.
“This initiative is also being done by other industries. We are hoping that DOH (Department of Health) and IATF will consider our proposals and the health and safety protocols inlcuded therein, in order to help our professional athletes and their families survive this trying times in our nation's history,” said Mitra.
Meanwhile, boxing and other contact sports division chief Dr. Jesuscito Garcia has proposed a closed-door setting for boxing, MMA and Muay thai events to ensure the safety of professional combat sports athletes and ring officials.
Mitra and Dr. Garcia were joined in drafting the documents by commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mar Masanguid, Dr. Redentor Viernes (medical section chief), Marissa So (horse betting division chief), Dioscoro Bautista (pro basketball and other pro games chief).
Viernes submitted copies of GAB General Medical Guidelines and Health Declaration Form to the DOH last month for initial consideration.