SENATOR Francis Tolentino will take a strong and definite stand against any efforts “banning minors from full-contact competitive sports.”
Tolentino, also the president of the Samahang Kickboxing ng Pilipinas (SKP), will even bring the matter to his colleagues in the Senate and rally them to support the plight of martial arts practitioners in the country SKP secretary-general Atty. Wharton Chan assured everybody that all steps will be taken as he joined leaders of national sports associations in expressing their opposition to the proposed House Bill 1526, or the “Act Banning Minors from Full-Contact Competitive Sports, Imposing Penalties for Violation Thereof and for other Purposes” “Sen Tolentino will take a clear and definite stand against any plans to ban minors from joining full-contact competitive sports. Sya ang unang tututol,” Chan told the weekly “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom last Dec. 10.
“Our SKP president Sen Tolentino said he will take the time to personally talk to his colleagues in the Senate to explain to them the issues,” added Chan during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
“Sen.Tolentino is very confident na maiintindihan naman sya sa mga hakbang na ginagawa ng mga NSAs para matiyak ang safety ng mga atleta natin, lalo na minors.”
Chan admitted that kickboxing will be directly affected by the proposed bill.
“Malaki ang impact sa kickboxing ng panukalang batas na ito.Tatamaan talaga ang kickboxing because may mga events kami sa AIMAG (Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games) pati na sa SEA Games, na full contact. We have low kicks which is knee above.”
“But you have to understand that kickboxing has different categories.”
Chan, however, said Sen.Tolentino and other SKP officials are willing to sit down with lawmakers to give their opinion.
“They did not ask for information from respectable NSAs. Kami sana ang pinakamagandang source ng wisdom from whatever law they are trying to enact. We know safety and precautionary measures that we need in our sport.
“Gaya ng ibang mga martial arts at combat sports, gusto namin matiyak ang safety ng aming mga participants. Wala naman gustong may masaktan, lalo na minors.”
He claimed they are bring singled out because they are combat sports. “Madami namang sports ang may full-contact din, na kung minsan mas matindi pa ang epekto sa athletes pero hindi napapansin. But we are being singled out because of the word combat.”
Chan also said SKP is keeping tab of its its schedule despite the pandemic and the threat of HB 1526.
“Sa darating na AIMAG at sa SEA Games sa Vietnam, tuloy lang ang laban namin,” said Chan.
“Sa kickboxing, tuloy-tuloy naman ang training namin right now while following all the safety and health protocols na ipinapatupad ng IATF,” said Chan.
“Our athletes are housed in Baguio. They continue to do sparring and strength and conditioning exercises.”
“Right now, pantay na din ang bilang ng mga male and female athletes natin sa national team sa AIMAG at SEA Games. It’s high time our female athletes stars to excel in kickboxing, too.”
Joining Chan in the TOPS forum were Alvin Aguilar (wrestling), David Carter (judo),Richard Lim (karate), Pearl Managuelod (muaythai), and Paolo Tancontian (sambo).