Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Friday urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and other concerned agencies to craft guidelines to help national athletes bound for Olympic qualifying tournaments abroad.
In order for them to qualify and prepare for Tokyo Summer Olympics next year, there must be a training plan for national athletes and their coaches during and after the period of general community quarantine (ECQ), that is compliant with health protocols, Go, chairman of the Senate sports committee, said.
“Balansehin lang po natin, huwag natin biglain, pero huwag rin natin sila pabayaan. Kabuhayan po nila ang pinag-uusapan dito. Karamihan ng ating mga atleta ay nabubuhay gamit ang kanilang talento sa larangan ng sports,” Go explained. (We should put a balance, we should not rush things but we should take care of them. it is their livelihood that we are discussing here. Many athletes use of their talents in the field of sports as a means for their livelihood.)
Go confirmed that his office has already relayed this concern to PSC chairman William Ramirez, and POC President and Cavite Rep. Abraham Tolentino who both agreed to immediately act on the matter.
He expressed concern that many athletes have not trained for the past three months. He said both PSC and POC should prepare them for their forthcoming competitions and keep them safe from COVID-19.
Both entities committed to allow the national athletes, especially those who are slated to participate in qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo Games, in addition to those who already qualified, to resume their training and use available sports facilities.
Go, chairman of the Senate sports committee, emphasized that such guidelines must be implemented in close coordination with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“Marami namang mga pasilidad na pwedeng gamitin for training basta monitored and supervised ito ng PSC at POC. They can ensure that health protocols are followed, proper sanitation is maintained, and COVID-19 testing are made available when necessary,” Go suggested. (There are many sports facilities that our athletes for their training as long as they are monitored.)
“Over-all champion tayo noong nakaraang 30th Southeast Asian Games and we hope that our success in the field of sports can continue in the upcoming Summer Olympics as well as other international competitions despite the current crisis we are facing,” the Senator explained. (We were the champions in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.)
Go also added that once the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam is already organized, subsequent preparations of the Philippine team must also be considered in accordance with health protocols necessary when that time comes.
In a related development, Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra has also presented to the IATF their suggested protocols and guidelines for professional sports. IATF’s technical working group is at present studying the matter.
The PSC also ensured that qualified athletes and coaches will still get to receive allowances despite the “No training, no allowance” policy previously implemented. Although the amounts will be cut by half starting July, the PSC committed that allowances due to athletes can be retroacted to cover the deficit during the period when allowances were slashed once funds are made available considering their current financial situation.
Aside from financial support, Go also urged the government to provide other forms of assistance to help national athletes and coaches especially those who are preparing for international competitions.
“To our concerned government agencies, please continue to monitor and support the welfare of athletes through other innovative means especially in conducting online trainings and by providing guidelines for other sports competitions to resume activities in a safe manner and in compliance with health protocols,” Go urged.
Date: June 13, 2020 | By: Mario Casuyuran | Newspaper: Manila Bulletin | Source: https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/06/12/sen-go-bats-for-plan-to-resume-athletes-training-for-olympics-sea-games/