PSC submits ‘Filipino First’ program to DOH in wake of virus
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Sports Commission has set up the parameters to reintroduce sports activities cautiously in a perilous coronavirus (COVID-19) environment.
The government sports agency has developed the Filipino Fitness and Recreational Sport-reintroduction Tool or Filipino First through its Medical and Scientific Athlete Services and forwarded the proposal to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).
“We know that sports and physical activities are still very important to strengthen one’s immune system during this COVID-19 health crisis,” said PSC Chair William “Butch” Ramirez.
Based on the study of MSAS sports science professionals headed by Dr. Randy Molo, the Filipino First framework aims to set the guidelines on the reintroduction of sports in a cautious and methodical manner while optimizing athlete and community safety.
Though no specific sports were mentioned in the recommendation, the PSC has provided certain conditions that should be met and applied to different community quarantine scenarios.
Metro Manila is under modified enhanced community quarantine until May 31 while most areas outside the National Capital Region (NCR) have been following general community quarantine protocols. At present, sports activities are prohibited under the MECQ and GCQ.
“We are hopeful that the DOH and the IATF-MEID will consider the recommendations submitted to provide a guide for our citizenry who are eager to engage in outdoor activities again,” said Ramirez.
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Ano recently said the government would soon allow sports that observe physical distancing in areas under GCQ.
Among the sports that can pass the physical and social distancing guidelines are golf, bowling, archery, cycling, weightlifting, shooting, tennis, running and table tennis.
“In the end, we all need to follow the guidelines set by the IATF and the LGUs (local government units),” said Ramirez.
The PSC has canceled the Philippine National Games, Philippine Youth Games-Batang Pinoy and the National Sports Summit this year due to the present global health crisis.
The Philippines was supposed to host the 10th Asean Para Games, which was likewise called off by the government, the Games organizing committee and the Asean Para Sports Federation.
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