More tournaments heed GAB call, secure licenses
MANILA, Philippines—Tournament organizers of 3×3 basketball, football and chess have recently submitted themselves under the supervision of the government through the Games and Amusements Board.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra expressed hope that other leagues where their players earn a living would follow suit.
“We just want to make sure that the league is properly run and no offense is committed against the players based on their contracts,’’ said Mitra during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday.
Athletes and officials from Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas, Philippine Football League, the National Basketball League and the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines have already secured their GAB licenses, following the lead of the Philippine Basketball Association.
Popular volleyball leagues such as the Philippine Super Liga and the Premier Volleyball League, however, have yet to submit themselves to the government regulatory body for pro sports together with the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
“Aside from the PBA in basketball, the PFL and boxing, chess recently turned pro. A table tennis league, which is also in the works, is also going pro, so what exempts volleyball?’’ said Mitra.
The GAB chief pointed out that a GAB license has a minimal annual fee of P1,000 for new leagues and can even be negotiated for a lower rate.
“We are not a revenue-generating agency. We’re just following our mandate. Maybe they don’t want us to meddle, but we only step in when we are needed,’’ said Mitra during the weekly forum backed by San Miguel Corporation, Go For Gold and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
The GAB and the Philippine Sports Commission recently released a joint resolution drawing the line between pro and amateur athletes. Based on the resolution, an athlete who plays for pay and does not represent the country is considered a pro athlete.
“We want to reach out to them (PSL, PVL and MPBL). It can be a public forum, it can be an open discussion or it can be a small group which can discuss and help each other out,’’ added Mitra.
Meanwhile, collegiate athletes who intend to play in pro leagues should secure their special guest licenses from the GAB.
Mitra announced that a special guest license would allow them to see action in the pros since college athletes are still prohibited from engaging in tournaments and competitive scrimmage.
“They are already allowed to train, but there are still no scheduled tournaments. So, upon the request of some people, we will release a special guest license for those who want to play in the pros,’’ said Mitra.
“We don’t want to impose on the UAAP or the NCAA, we’re just asking them to allow these athletes to play as guests in professional leagues,’’ added Mitra.
The Commission of Higher Education, the government agency for tertiary education that covers colleges and universities in the country, has released a set of guidelines for the resumption of training of collegiate athletes, but it only permits conditioning and drills in a bubble-type environment.
The Ched’s guidelines for the resumption of collegiate training will be submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease for approval within the week.
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