Sports return in IATFâS hands
Bambol Tolentino
STAR/ File
Sports return in IATF’S hands
Olmin Leyba, Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - June 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Top sports executives said they will defer to authorities on whether athletes should be allowed to train again as what a group of officials of team events is proposing.

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino and Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez both said athletic resumption will ultimately depend on the Inter-Agency Task Force.

“I might recommend but it’s up to the IATF kung papayagan nila,” Tolentino said during yesterday’s PSA Forum online.

Athletics chief and Philippine SuperLiga chairman Philip Ella Juico and officials from basketball, volleyball, rugby, football, karate and gymnastics bonded to lobby for a return to practice of their respective athletes.

It intends to submit a position paper to the government bodies with corresponding protocols for their intended training plans.

“If the group can give us a copy, I can give it to (PSC training director) Marc Velasco and (deputy executive director) Atty. Guillermo Iroy, then to (Health) Sec. (Francisco) Duque, and they can bring that matter for discussion in the IATF,” said Ramirez.

Metro Manila has shifted to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) status but most sports-related activities remain prohibited.

Tolentino, also the cycling chief, admitted he isn’t too keen on the idea as of now.

“For me personally parang mahirap pa, eh. Yung group or team competition, hindi pwede yung distancing, so nakakatakot pa,” he said. “Pwede naman mag-antay, unless yung tournament para sa (Olympic) qualifying.”

The PSC is hoping that the 50 percent cut on the allowances of athletes and coaches is a temporary thing.

“Our commitment is that once our collection from PAGCOR resumes, it will return to normal,” Ramirez said.

The PSC chief said it was a painful decision to implement the cut. But he added that in the light of the COVID crisis, it was the best option.

“If we continued with the regular allowance, we wouldn’t last until December,” he said.

Top athletes get P45,000 a month from the PSC.

BAMBOL TOLENTINO
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