MANILA, Philippines—Representatives of a partylist group filed a bill that would ban the participation of minors in competitive full-contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu, muay thai, judo and other forms of karate.
Christopher Co and Rodel Batocabe, representatives of Ako Bicol, filed House Bill 3646 that would regulate the participation of minors in leisure, non-competitive, sports and in training.
“While acknowledging the importance and benefits and the values that can be derived from participating in these sports, the measure recognizes the paramount need to protect the minors,” Co said.
He added that the bill would require parents, guardians, schools, and sports associations to undertake the necessary protection for the minors.
“Such responsibility is imposed on parents, guardians, schools, and sports associations because the minors are incapacitated to give consent nor can they waive any right of actions for injuries inflicted upon them during and in connection with such activities,” he said.
High school student Jonas Joshua Garcia of Bulacan, 16, who competed in a Department of Education-sanctioned boxing match, died in the event during the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association in Iba, Zambales.
The death prompted Tionisto Umali, Assistant Education Secretary, to study the exclusion of boxing and other contact sports like wrestling, wushu, arnis and taekwondo from Palarong Pambansa.
Batocabe said that the State has the responsibility to ensure the promotion and protection of the youth’s “physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being.”
The parent, guardian, sports association, organization, event organizer and the like that is associated with the minor, who violated the would-be law, would be fined P50,000 for the first offense, P100,000 or revocation of business permit or license or both for the second offense, and a fine of P200,000 or closure of the establishment or both at the discretion of a judiciary body for the third offense.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Education were the two government bodies to uphold the bill.