ACKNOWLEDGING that local sports has been changed considerably by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is working and strengthening its legs heading into the “new normal” of doing things.
Led by Chairman William Ramirez, the PSC held a board meeting online on Tuesday where it discussed measures to be taken by the body as COVID-19 continues to be a concern at the moment and moving forward.
Foremost of the measures was establishing a health and safety committee that would oversee the handling of related matters in the agency in accordance with the occupational and health safety standards for public sector issued by the Department of Health, Civil Service Commission of the Philippines and Department of Labor and Employment.
Executive Director Merly Ibay was named head of the committee, with Deputy Executive Directors Dennis Rivera and Atty. Guillermo Iroy, and Chief of Staff Marc Velasco serving as deputies.
Also tackled was the creation of a framework for the reintroduction of outdoor physical activities and sports in coordination with the DoH, something Mr. Ramirez said is important in slowly opening up things for the sporting community.
The PSC also underscored that it is committed to dispensing its duties even in these trying times, including ensuring that their budget is at par to whatever direction they are going to take and carrying out its oversight functions over grassroots programs and national sports associations.
“The whole sporting world, national sports has to change. It has to shape its direction moving forward…There has to be adjustments. We cannot be complacent and just return to what we were doing before…” said Mr. Ramirez of how things will be in the new normal brought about by COVID-19.
Meanwhile, the PSC lauded the Senate’s ratification of the bicameral report on the establishment of a National Academy for Sports early this week.
The PSC said the turn of events is a welcome development in line with the vision of shoring up sports development in the country and providing opportunities for the youth to have a career in sports.
“The Board is unanimous in saying that this is a welcome development. Anything that supports the development of sports in the country is a great boost to the country’s efforts to build a deeper grassroots sports program which feed our elite sports programs,” said Mr. Ramirez in a statement.
“The National Academy of Sports (NAS) is a welcome development in the institutionalization of sports in the Philippines. This will be an avenue for us to produce world-class Filipino athletes. Moreover, the athletes will also be academically adept while pursuing their dreams for sports excellence,” PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram, for her part, said.
The envisioned academy looks to jointly push for world-class sports training and quality secondary education for the young people of the country. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo