GAB raises questions as PBA reports first virus case

Published October 21, 2020, 4:16 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra has called on the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) officials to explain how a PBA game official became a “suspect case” for COVID-19 despite the strict measures being implemented inside the bubble in Clark, Pampanga.

The league confirmed Wednesday that one of the PBA referees has tested positive of the deadly virus and the person is now in isolation. Contract tracing is now underway as part of the health protocols.

This news rocked the sporting scene, considering that the bubble in Pampanga is the first of its kind in the country.

“It is unfortunate and sad that such a thing happened inside the PBA bubble,” said Mitra when contacted by Manila Bulletin.

“We call on the BCDA to enlighten us, and help us explain why this thing happened.”

BCDA is under the leadership of its president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vince Dizon, also the Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19.

Mitra explained that while GAB, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health (DOH) created the guidelines for health protocols for sports under the Joint Administrative Order (JAO), it was Dizon himself who took over and had it approved by the IATF.

That is why prior to the PBA restart last Oct. 11, it was Dizon who made the presentation as he discussed the guidelines and health protocols for the league, and not the JAO member-agencies.

“Since they took all the cudgels to have it approved by the IATF, we leave it to the BCDA to help us explain,” said Mitra.

“Besides, the PBA bubble is within the confines of the BCDA.”

The said guidelines that JAO formed is meant for sports – particularly the professional leagues like the PBA, the Philippine Football League (PFL) and even the promoters of pro boxing events – that hopes to resume despite the novel coronavirus pandemic.