PHILIPPINE sports received a much-needed shot in the arm with the endorsement of the Department of Health (DOH) for the immediate implementation of the provisions of the Joint (JAO) No. 2020-0001.
The JAO, also known as “Guidelines on the Conduct of Health-Enhancing and Sports during the COVID-19 Pandemic” was issued by the DOH, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) last July 27 as initial response to far-reaching damage in sports of the pandemic.
In separate letters to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III has formally endorsed the JAO.
In a letter dated Aug. 5, Sec. Duque III has requested DILG Secretary Eduardo Año to endorse the JAO to all the local government units through the issuance of appropriate policy.
Duque has also enjoined the LGUs to develop counterpart ordinances to warrant the effective implementation of the JAO in the areas of their respective territorial jurisdiction.
While acting on the request of the GAB to clarify the category of gyms, fitness facilities, and sports facilities, the DOH has requested DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez to align and adopt its guidelines and protocols for the said establishments with the standards set by the DOH and the DOH-PSC-GAB Joint Administrative Order.
“GAB is tasked to lead the implementation of the JAO in so far as the professional sports sector is concerned,” said GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.
“We want to make certain that the health and safety protocols to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 are put in place to protect our professional athletes and other sports stakeholders,” added Mitra.
Earlier, Mitra announced that many professional sports leagues under the jurisdiction of the GAB, such as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Philippine Football League (PFL), 3×3 Chooks-to-Go, National Basketball League (NBL), Women National Basketball League (WNBL), boxing and other combat sports promotions have resumed training.
“The resumption of professional sports activities in the country should not compromise the health of our athletes, trainers, or the community.,” said the three-time lawmaker from Palawan in a statement.
“This will be a slow and careful process, but we hope that all the stakeholders of professional sports will continue to support us.”