CDM Fernandez: Vaccines to bring ‘peace of mind’ to national athletes

Published April 14, 2021, 3:56 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Philippine Sports Commissioner Mon Fernandez hopes national athletes will be vaccinated in the coming months in time for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam late this year.

Fernandez said vaccines for athletes are not only beneficial for their physical health but also their mental condition.

“Magandang mabakuhanan sila kasi peace of mind din para sa kanila habang nagti-training,” Fernandez said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum Tuesday, April 13.

“Hopefully July or August ma-vaccine na sila. Based sa pagdating ng vaccine.”

Fernandez’s statements came a day after reports there are two athletes who tested positive for COVID-19.

Sources refused to divulge any information on the two athletes particularly their sport, although assured that both are asymptomatic and are currently recovering at quarantine facilities at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Athletes and coaches bound to the Tokyo Olympics set July 23 to Aug. 8 will be prioritized with business tycoon Enrique Razon pledging to provide the COVID-19 vaccines.

The country has so far six Olympic qualifiers in boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo, although more athletes are still vying for slots in the coming months.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino earlier announced it would procure COVID-19 vaccines for SEAG-bound athletes after receiving a $40,000 (around P2 million) subsidy from the Olympic Council of Asia.

The POC has actually created a Task Force headed by Vice President Al Panlilio for vaccine procurement.

The country has submitted 626 entries by number to the SEAG Organizing Committee to compete in 39 of 40 sports in Vietnam.

Vietnam is actually one of the countries that has been successfully managing the virus, tallying only 2, 714 total cases including 234 active cases as of April 13.