GAB submits proposed framework for resumption of sports to IATF-EID

GAB Chairman Mitra discusses the safety protocol with employees as the agency is preparing back to work under the 'new normal' guidelines.
GAB Chairman Mitra discusses the safety protocol with employees as the agency is preparing back to work under the ‘new normal’ guidelines.

Following thorough studies and direct consultations with the different professional sports organizations in the Philippines, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) officially submitted its “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).

The 59-page document has been carefully drafted by GAB officials led by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and Commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mar Masanguid along with Dr. Jesucito Garcia, Boxing chief; Dr. Redentor Viernes, medical section chief; Ms. Marissa So, horse betting division chief; Mr. Dioscoro Bautista, pro basketball and other pro games chief and other professional sports bodies, such as Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Football Federation (PFF), among others, to ensure the safe return of sporting and amusement events following their temporary halt due to COVID-19 threat.

The proposal shall serve as a guide to help the IATF assess risk factors and the earliest reasonable time for the resumption of professional sports events. This includes boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, motocross, triathlon and other amusement games like horse racing while putting into consideration the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of Filipino professional athletes and other GAB licensees.

“We are in close coordination with the different professional sports bodies. PFF submitted its operational protocols last week, while PBA submitted its health and safety guidelines last Friday. PFF is proposing to adopt a “No spectators rule and to shorten football conferences,” said GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” 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, to help our professional athletes and their families survive this trying time in our nation’s history,” said Mitra.

Also, Dr. Viernes submitted copies of the GAB General Medical Guidelines and Health Declaration Form to the Department of Health(DOH) last month for initial consideration.