The Philippine Sports Commission will have to do some belt-tightening measures as the country prepares to see action in at least three major international events this year.
This is because the national government has approved a budget that’s less than what the sports agency proposed for the coming Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Games and the Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games (AIMAG).
“The PSC sought a budget of P900 million. Pero hindi lahat ay na-approve,” said PSC commissioner Ramon Fernandez, who is also the country’s chef de mission for the SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Only close to P500 million was approved to support the training and campaign of national athletes in the three international meet.
Aside from this amount, the PSC can still utilize the P175 million that was left over from SEA Games’ budget last year.
Meanwhile, training under a bubble-type of setup is set to continue for national athletes on Monday after the government raised the COVID-19 alert level status to Alert Level 3 starting Jan. 3.
Under the guidelines of the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the agency will not allow the staging of “contact sports, except those conducted under bubble-type setup, as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission, and approved by the LGUs (local government units).”
Among the combat sports events that were supposed have physical training sessions are karatedo, judo, sambo, taekwondo, boxing, kickboxing and muay.
The agency is taking a cautious stand in many places inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in the City of Manila and in the Philsports Complex in Pasig Complex once they are opened.
That’s because the government is still utilizing certain areas as isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients.