MANILA, Philippines – National athletes bound for the Southeast Asian Games can now enter their bubble workouts under strict government supervision.
The Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health and the Board of Games and Recreation have issued a joint administrative order, which enumerates implementation guidelines on how athletes and their national sports federations should conduct a bubble-type environment for training safely.
The approval came to JAO No. 2021-0001 is just in time because the sports facilities in Baguio will be ready as soon as training starts in July, in addition to the sports federations training bubble that has decided to choose its own venues.
Acting on the order signed by PSC President William Ramirez, GAB Chairman Bham Mitra and Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, contact sports and sports have been given the go-ahead for training in areas placed under moderate and low-risk community quarantine classifications.
Under the strict guidance of the PSC Medical Unit, the athletes and individuals for bubble training will be identified by the sports federation and endorsed by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Paralympic Committee to the PSC.
The maximum number of individuals allowed to participate within the bubble will depend on the risk assessment conducted by the PSC along with the POC, PPC and sports federations.
JAO also instructed the deployment of health and safety officers to continuously monitor the health status of all personnel within the training area while coordinating all plans and activities with the host local government unit and the regional interagency task force on infectious disease management.
Members of the national team under the age of 18 are required to obtain the written consent of their parents.
PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, head chef for Team Philippines at the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam, has given his seal of approval to preparations underway at PSC facilities at the Teachers Camp in Baguio City where it will host athletes from boxing, karate, athletics, muay thai and possibly kickboxing.
Facilities in the high-altitude Baguio include a modern 175-bed dormitory that was recently handed over by the Department of Public Works and Highways to PSC.
Fernandez said he plans to seek advice and approval from the DOH and the IATF about the possibility of using 50 percent of the 175 beds in the PSC dormitory because the athletes will all be vaccinated in July.
Under DOH and IATF guidelines, only 30 percent of bed capacity will be permitted for occupancy.
A total of 626 Filipino athletes will attend from 39 competing sports during the period from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 matches in Hanoi, which will require all participating athletes and coaches to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Besides bubble training in Baguio, other SEAG-related sports have created their own training bubbles.
Shooting trained in Dumaguete, fencing in Ormoc, weightlifting in Cebu, Bohol, Zamboanga, cycling in Tagaytay, Sepak Takraw and beach volleyball in Ilocos Norte, triathlon in Subic, table tennis in Taguig, kayak/dragon boat In Tacloban and skiing in Cebu.
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