THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, lauded the proposal of Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go to include the Filipino athletes in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination soon.
Mitra said the proposal should serve as an inspiration to the Filipino athletes set to represent the country in the Tokyo Olympics and other major international competitions this year.
“Gaya nga ng nasabi ni Sen. Go, ang mga atleta natin ay nagbibigay din ng karangalan sa ating bansa kaya marapat na mabigyan din sila ng sapat na proteksyon gaya ng ating mga frontliners,” said Mitra during the #LagingHandaPH Public Briefing with USec Rocky Ignacio over PTV 4.
Go, also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, earlier urged vaccine czar Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. to include in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccination the Filipino athletes.
Go said Galvez has responded positively to his appeal.
Mitra also thanked Go for continuously supporting even the professional athletes, who have been affected by the pandemic.
“Nagpapasalamat din kami kay Sen. Go sa kanyang patuloy na ayuda sa ating mga atleta, na naapektuhan din ngayong pandemic gaya ng ibang mga displaced workers,” said Mitra , who was appointed by President Duterte as GAB chairman in 2016.
“We all know that in professional sports, it’s all play for pay. Kung walang laro or laban, wala din hanap buhay. Kaya kailangan natin tulungan. It’s part of GAB mandate to promote the welfare of our professional athletes, ” added Mitra.
“Sa tulong ni Sen. Go at iba pang mga kaibigan, patuloy tayong nakapagbibigay ng ayuda.”
Mitra said the GAB, Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health will continue to work together and introduce amendments to the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) approved by the IATF.
Mitra also urged professional athletes and organizers to continue to take precautionary measures even with the vaccine coming.
“Sabi nga, we can’t take our guards down. Hindi tayo dapat mag-relax. Ang tagal natin nag–iingat dito sa virus at sumusunod sa lahat ng health and safety protocols ng IATF. Ayaw natin magkaroon ng kahit isang maliit na problema na masisisi tayo sa sports,” explained Mitra.
“Nakapag-resume na ng ibang mga laro. Natuloy na ang PBA sa Clark, yun Chooks 3×3 sa Inspire-Calamba pati football sa Laguna. Ang dami pang ibang sports na gusto mag-resume. Pero we have to very careful.”
Asked by Ignacio about the special professional licenses being given now by GAB, Mitra said collegiate athletes should take advantage of the opportunity.
“Madami tayong mga atleta na matagal ng hindi nakakalaro. This is a good opportunity for them to be able to play in professional leagues and hone their skills by playing against the pros,” explained Mitra.
“We want to extend this opportunity to collegiate players to play in the pros. Sports should not stop.”
A three -time lawmaker from Palawan, Mitra cited the example of the all-amateur Northern Consolidated Corp, which even captured the title in the 1985 PBA Reinforced Conference.
“Yun mga players ng NCC lahat gumaling after makalaro sa PBA.”
Mitra also announced the entry of more professional leagues that could provide livelihood to the players.
“In volleyball, there’s the Premier Volleyball League. In basketball, there’s the Pilipinas Vis-Min Cup, which will be played in a bubble in Cebu. May boxing promotions sa Tarlac this weekend at Laguna next week. Sa panahon ni President Duterte, madami talaga ang naging professional.”
Mitra said GAB is also working doubly hard to fine-tune its online services for renewal of licenses to make it a lot easier.
“Etong mga pro athletes naman natin, kailangan din talaga mag-renew ng kanilang licenses gaya sa ibang profession before they can practice their trade. We’re also now planning to have mobile licensing dahil nga sa mga existing travel restrictions ngayon,” explained Mitra.Publication Source : People's Tonight