Boxing-Combat Sports Commission creation looms

Published October 5, 2021, 8:35 AM

by Manila Bulletin

The creation of the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission may have to wait a little longer.

In a joint Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting, the House Committees on Government Reorganization and on Games and Amusements on Monday, October 4, discussed bills seeking to create the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission (PBCC).

For consolidation by the TWG are House Bill 1224 authored by Rep. Enrico Pineda (1-PACMAN Party-list) and Deputy Speaker Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero (1-PACMAN Party-list); HB 6236 by Rep. Eric Olivarez (Parañaque City, 1st District); HB 8984 by Deputy Speaker Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao (Sarangani); HB 9443 by Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte (Camarines Sur, 2nd District); and HB 10240 by Rep. Joy Myra Tambunting (Parañaque City, 2nd District).

Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo, TWG chairman, said the focus of the bill is to strengthen the regulatory powers of the proposed commission in overseeing the welfare of boxers and other combat sports athletes.

The measures for consolidation also intend to abolish the Boxing and Contact Sports Division under the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

Pineda said creating a separate commission for boxing and combat sports would also help the GAB focus its attention on the needs of other professional sports.

Meanwhile, GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, who was one of the resource speakers during the meeting, has urged both committees to look into strengthening the regulatory board so that other professional athletes would be given better assistance as well.

“It can go hand and hand. The boxing and contact sports commission can likewise be approved as well as the strengthening of GAB. It’s not just boxing that GAB is administering, all the other sports also need some help,” Mitra said.

Mitra also said that the GAB has submitted its position paper on the said commission and that the GAB is already doing what has to be done.

He added that the GAB has already been asking for additional funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the retirement of boxers as well as giving livelihood, health and housing benefits.

The DBM, on the other hand, raised the issue of duplication or overlapping of functions with the creation of the boxing and combat sports commission.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), for its part, said that boxing and combat sports aren’t under the government sports agency and that the GAB should have its voice heard on the said commission.

The Civil Service Commission (CSC), meanwhile, gave its support for the establishment of the boxing and combat sports commission but with the approval of the commission regarding human resource administration and appointments.

The House TWG is still waiting for comments from the DBM about provisions on the funding of the proposed agency. (MELVIN SARANGAY)