By Nick Giongco
The names of licensed boxers, Muay Thai practitioners and mix-martial artists and their respective trainers and seconds numbering 1,133 will be submitted to the Department of Social Welfare and Development for them to avail of the government’s social amelioration program.
In a letter dated April 1, 2020, and addressed to DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista, Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra said these licensees are “affected by the No Work No Pay Policy” given that boxing promotions here and overseas have been put on hold owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
“These individuals are unable to exercise their profession due to the imposed community quarantine and hence are devoid of a source of income,” Mitra said.
Nationwide, the GAB lists 805 boxers, 79 MMA fighters, 32 from Muay Thai, 157 boxing trainers and seconds, 48 MMA trainers and 12 Muay Thai trainers.
The bulk of the boxers come from Visayas and Mindanao, where the sport is extremely popular among the people.
The Luzon lockdown prevented the staging of boxing shows in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and as other regions began imposing their own rules, all the other scheduled promotions started scrapping their cards, leaving the boxers and their trainers with no compensation.
It is not yet clear until the lockdown will last and the GAB’s initiative to reach out to the DSWD for support will help them somehow survive these trying times.
Based on the instructions from Malacanang, those who are unable to earn because of the quarantine stands to receive anywhere between P5,000 to P8,000.