GAB: We’re just doing our job

An athlete is considered a professional if he or she gets paid but does not play for the country. Otherwise, the athlete is an amateur.

That’s how the new Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Games and Amusement Board’s (GAB) Joint Resolution No.2020-01 signed last October 16 drew the line between a professional and an amateur athlete in the country.

The two government agencies crafted the resolution for them to help better know their areas of responsibilities and improve their regulation of the businesses under their respective jurisdictions

PSC is mandated to watch over the amateur sports development and amateur athletes, while GAB is the body that regulates professional sports and athletes.

The joint resolution of the two government agencies, however, raised some eyebrows, as semi-professional leagues and athletes are now burdened to keep up with the technical standards of professional sports.

For starters, these athletes now have to obtain a professional license from GAB, which comes with a fee.

GAB chairman Abraham Mitra made it clear, though, that his team isn’t doing this to generate money from these leagues and athletes. They’re just doing their jobs, instead.

“We just want to lay the ground. We are not a revenue generating government agency. We’re not here for the money. Ang sweldo namin parehos lang, mag pro man sila o Hindi. Dagdag na trabaho din yan. But we’re just doing our job, we’re following our mandate,” said Mitra in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Online Forum on Tuesday.

When it comes to the professional license fee, Mitra said that GAB doesn’t ask too much, even noting that the highest fee they ask for it is P4,500 for one year.

That’s the amount they ask for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players, but the amount can be lower for athletes playing in budding leagues like the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League and the Philippine Super Liga.

“For the new leagues, we’ve been very lenient, ‘Sir pwede mababa muna (licensing fee), we are a growing league. Sabi ko, ‘no problem I will ask the approval of the board. The board has been very responsive. Sabihin na natin 1,000 a year, how much is that, that’s not even a hundred pesos a month. And you’re applying your trade, halimbawa driver ka, nagi earn ka, eh mag lisensya ka naman,” said Mitra.

Mitra shared the newly turned professional leagues in the Chooks-to-Go 3×3 League and the National Basketball League can testify to what he just said about the affordable license fees.

Mitra added that professionalising these semi-professional leagues will only bode well for the athletes and the teams, as they now have a government agency that can help and protect them from their problems in the leagues they belong.

“We never forced our way (na mag pro sila). Hindi kami ganun. We try to talk to them. We sit down with them. Ang pinaka madalas na sinasabi nila, ‘wala kaming budget baka masyado kayong mahal’. Parang feeling nila mahal masyado yung fee. Hindi po. Hindi po kami government revenue generating agency. Hindi Kami namimilit, nakikiusap lang kami, we’re just doing our mandate. Otherwise, baka sabihin remiss of duty kami.

“We just want to make sure na maayos ang pagpapatakbo ng liga, yung mga kontrata dapat nasusunod walang naaapi, walang gulangan. Hayaan niyong magkaroon kami ng kopya ng kontata kasi may mga naririnig kaming atleta na bigla na lang naka-cut. Hindi maganda yung pagtrato sa kanya. In the same way, kung may mga team officials naman na makulit, kailangang disiplinahin na hindi madisplina, maari naman po kaming tumulong.”

Finally, Mitra also allayed the fears that GAB will meddle with the affairs of, and over-regulate these leagues, saying they only stepped in when their number is called. Mitra said GAB believes in self-regulation and the PBA can testify to that.

“The past three years we never over-regulate. Alam ng PBA yan. We believe in self regulation. We only come in when we are needed.” 

Date: October 28, 2020 | By: Neil Masoy | Newspaper: Manila Times | Source: