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Olympic bets remain PSC’s priority in sports comeback

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) emphasized the need of Olympic qualifiers to resume their training during the PSC-GAB- DOH Stakeholders’ Virtual Meeting hosted by the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday.

PSC Officer-in-Charge Ramon Fernandez and National Training Director Marc Velasco represented the sports agency in the discussion for the Joint Administrative Order Guidelines on the Conduct of Health-Enhancing Physical Activities and Sports during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In the meeting participated in by Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Baham Mitra, sports leaders of the Department of Education, professional sports league, colleges, and universities, the PSC heads bared their solid plans on resuming the preparations of Tokyo-bound athletes.

“We are working towards the approval of the training of our national athletes who have earned their slots in the Games. We are hoping it gets the go-signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) first,” shared Fernandez.

“The PSC discussed this with the POC (Philippine Olympic Committee). We still have to sit down with the PPC (Philippine Paralympic Committee). The POC will determine through their NSAs (National Sports Associations) who are coming for the Olympic slots and they will be the ones to return first or if possible, we can have them in a bubble,” explained Velasco.  He added that the PSC has to work with the POC, NSAs, and the team of Dr. Randy Molo of the PSC’s Medical Scientific Athlete Services (MSAS) and look at the guidelines and the protocols so “we can all have a good guide for the return to training. We’re preparing the venues as well.”

Highlighting the zero positive cases among the national athletes so far, the PSC seeks to push forward with getting the country’s Olympic bets back in training but having them undergo standard health procedures first.

“We did that with athletes who stayed here in Philsports. We facilitated their transit – since Metro Manila is high-risk and they are going to their low-risk provinces. So we did tests on them, but at the same time, we kept them in a bubble. Through that, we were able to guarantee that the athletes were not exposed, which is confirmed by the tests, and then we made sure that even their transport to the airport was controlled by PSC,” shared Velasco.

The said meeting for the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) Guidelines was to prepare and check with the stakeholders ensuring that they cover all required public health standards for physical and sporting activities and allowable thresholds for professional and nonprofessional sports per risk severity area. The guidelines are still under discussion and subject to necessary changes before it gets submitted to the IATF. PR

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