GAB revises guidelines for bubble training and tournaments

Published January 8, 2021, 3:49 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra said Friday that the Supplemental Guidelines to the Joint Agreement Order (JAO) will be distributed to sports organizers aiming to conduct sports meet particularly at the professional level.

According to Mitra, a former Palawan governor, the updated JAO guideline under No. 2020-0001 will clarify the rules that govern the holding of bubble training or competition.

Last year, upon the instructions of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, GAB joined hands in forming the guidelines of JAO No. 2020-001 with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health.

The said guideline is for the conduct of sports and health-enhancing activities despite the implementation of community quarantines in different parts of the country due to COVID-19 pandemic.

“This 2021, we will implement the provisions of the supplemental guidelines or Supplemental JAO,” said Mitra. “This new order will really determine the future of all sports events in the country this year.”

“But we will continue holding our sports events in accordance with the latest government directives to ensure the safety of our pro athletes and the general public, whether it is a full athletic bubble, open or closed-circuit – we will make sure that GAB is on top of everything.”

This coming Monday, Mitra said that there will be a virtual public consultation between GAB and different professional sports associations in the country in order to get the opinions and concerns of stakeholders about the updated supplemental guidelines.

Mitra also reiterated that although the country may soon see the vaccine to fight COVID-19, he said that strict implementation of health protocols should be followed in all sports activities.

“We have to remember that we are still under General Community Quarantine and a new coronavirus strain threat,” he said.

“That is why we, the GAB and pro sports stakeholders, have to continue to adhere with the IATF and the DOH guidelines in order to ensure the safety of our Pinoy pro athletes and the general public.”

Last year saw the return of basketball with separate bubble tournaments by the PBA in Pampanga and Pilipinas 3×3 Chooks-To-Go in Laguna, as well as resumption of golf with the ICTS-backed Philippine Golf Tour, and three local boxing events in the country.

With the availability of vaccines in the coming months, more are expected to conduct sports events after the majority of the tournaments were either postponed or cancelled due to the virus outbreak.