Sports Summit

Top lawmakers, sports leaders to join GAB summit

September 23, 2021 Ed Andaya 582 views

SIX of the country’s hard-working and sports-minded lawmakers have been invited to share their knowledge and expertise during the third Professional Sports Summit organized by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) via Zoom on Sept. 29.

Senators Bong Go, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, Sonny Angara and Pia Cayetano and Cong. Jericho Nograles will give a report on the state of Philippine sports during the pandemic and the efforts to safeguard the welfare of the Filipino professional athletes.

Department of Health Assistant Secretary and Infectious Disease specialist Dr. Eric Tayag will also grace the summit.

GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham Mitra personally invited the six lawmakers, who have consistently supported the Filipino athletes through their works in the Senate and Congress.

“We all know that professional sport is one of the most affected sectors during lockdown caused by COVID-19 for the past two years. No tournaments, no promotions, no livelihood for professional athletes,” said Mitra in a message to People’s Tonight.

“Madami talaga ang naapektuhan, lalo na yun umaasa sa kanilang trabaho on day-to-day basis. Pero kahit na gusto namin payagan ang iba na magpalaro na, nakabatay pa din lahat sa ipinapatupad na health and safety protocols ng Inter-Agency Task Force,” explained Mitra.

Mitra hopes to address the problems by inviting select experts and professional sports stakeholders to talk about the best practices during the pandemic then and now.

He cited the IATF approval on the resumption of games of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and several boxing promotions with strict no-audience policy based on the prevailing quarantine situation.

The Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, the first pro basketball league in the South, was also successfully launched in a bubble setup in Cebu and Zamboanga del Norte, respectively, early this year.

The Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP), the country’s first professional chess league, also continued to hold online tournaments during the pandemic.

“Officials and representatives of the PBA, PVL, Vis-Min Cup and PCAP and other stakehilders have been invited as resources speakers during the summit to share their experiences,” said Mitra.

The three-time lawmaker from Palawan also said the four hematoma screening test machines, which GAB acquired with the help of the five senators, will also be unveiled during the summit.

GAB Medical Division Chief Dr. Radentor Viernes said the four hand-held brain hematoma screening devices will be distributed to its offices in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region.

“This is vital to boxers because we can determine right away if the boxer needs immediate referral to a CT scan or a neurosurgical intervention,” said Viernes.

Viernes, however, clarified the device is not a replacement for a CT scan. It was used for the first time last Sept. 4 during boxing promotions in Pangasinan.

“This device is not exclusive to boxing, this can also be used in mixed martial arts and other combat sports. Puwede rin sa basketball, lalo na pag masama ang pagkakabagsak ng player and also sa motocross. Kahit may helmet sila, magkakaroon pa rin yan ng trauma,” Viernes said.

Mitra initiated the first pro sports summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 2019.

Among those present durIng the first pro sports summit were Sens. Go and Angara, billiards legends Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante and former boxing champion Gerry Peñalosa.

Last year, GAB staged the second pro sports summit via Zoom in December.