FIFTY-SIX professional boxers in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were able to receive relief courtesy of Thai philanthropist Naris Singwancha.
Coursed through the Philippine Boxing Promoters and Managers Association (PBPMA), the relief is long overdue as all boxers were unable to earn a living since the start of the community quarantine in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Boxing promoter Brico Santig of the Highland Boxing Promotions said the relief operations aims to help local fighters as most of them have not receive any help from the national government.
"Yung ibang hindi nakarating, tumawag na lang kame ng kanilang representatives since hindi rin sila maka punta dahil sa sitwasyon. Yung iba nasa Ifugao, yung iba nasa Kapangan, Bugiuas, Itogon," said Santig.
Santig is hopeful for another round of relief as they expect longer quarantine in some areas.
"Yung mga ibang boxers humihingi din ng tulong gaya ng mga taga Bacolod, Cebu kaya hopefully sana may second round," added Santig.
Santig is also hoping the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to come in and look at the situation of professional boxers in the prpvinces whose livelihood were affected by Covid-19.
The Benguet promoter said Singwancha's foundation earlier coordinated with PBPMA to give relief to more than 200 boxers from the Elorde Gym in Manila.
Jake Nabuye, boxing promoter from Itogon, meanwhile, thanked Singwancha's foundation for giving relief to boxers in the province.
"Malaki ang pasasalamat natin sa Singwancha Foundation dahil kahit hindi kame nabigyan ng tulong dahil walang nag reach out, kaya malaking bagay din ang tulong na ito," added Nabuye, who is managing at least 15 boxers.
Nabuye admitted that some of his fighters are suffering stress due to the long lay-off.
"May kunting stressed kasi dati may physical activity at training kaya magaan ang pakiramdam di gaya ngayon," added Nabuye.
Nabuye said they were also looking forward for GAB to reach them out for financial help.
While some boxers were reportedly given amelioration, Nabuye said almost all fighters from the Cordillera did not receive any monetary help, including relief from government.
"Sana dito makakuha din kunting amelioration kasi sa ibang lugar daw naka dalawang tranche na," added Nabuye.
On April 1, GAB submitted to Department of Labor and Employment the list of professional boxers and trainers asking that they be included in the government's Social Amelioration Program (SAP).
The GAB letter signed by chairman Abraham Mitra and commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mario Masanguid appealed on the basis of the no work no pay policy of which their members could be categorized.
The GAB leaders have also submitted names of trainers and boxers within the Luzon area who "are unable to exercise their profession and hence are devoid of a source of income." (Roderick Osis)