THE Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has submitted the proposed framework for the resumption of professional sports in the Philippines in anticipation to the new normal to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
This was revealed by GAB Chairman Baham Mitra in a message, saying the action was a result of thorough studies and direct consultations with the different professional sports organizations in the country.
Mitra added that the document has been carefully drafted by GAB and other professional sports bodies, such as Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and Philippine Football Federation (PFF), among others, in order to ensure the safe return of sporting and amusement events following their temporary halt due to Covid-19 threat.
The proposal shall likewise serve as a guide to help the IATF in assessing all the risk factors and the earliest but most reasonable time for the resumption of professional sports events, such as boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, motocross, triathlon and amusement games like horse racing in the country while putting into consideration the socio-economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of Filipino professional athletes and other GAB licensees, he stressed.
"We are in close coordination with the different professional sports bodies. PFF submitted its operational protocols last week, while PBA submitted its own health and safety guidelines last Friday. PFF is proposing to adopt a "no spectators rule and to shorten football conferences," 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.
"This initiative is also being done by other industries. We are hoping that DOH and IATF will consider our proposal and the health and safety protocols included therein, in order to help our professional athletes and their families survive this trying time in our nation's history," said GAB chairman added.
Moreover, Dr. Redentor Viernes, GAB Medical Section chief, submitted copies of the GAB General Medical Guidelines and Health Declaration Form to the Department of Health last month for initial consideration.