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PBA PARTY-LIST BATS FOR VAXXING OF STUDE ATHLETES

“Revive sports. Inoculate student-athletes.”

The Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list is calling for the inclusion of student-athletes in the government’s list of priority groups for vaccination against COVID-19.

The government previously approved the vaccination of all national athletes if they would be joining this year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Tokyo Olympics, with more than 700 Philippine athletes receiving the Sinovac vaccine in May.

“While this year’s Palarong Pambansa is still in limbo and competition in collegiate athletic associations is still suspended, the inoculation of our student-athletes will ensure that these sporting events could be restarted at the soonest possible time,” PBA Party-list spokesperson Atty. Migs Nograles said.

“We are therefore urging the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to include student-athletes in the list of priority groups to be vaccinated, particularly those in senior high school and college who are already in the age of majority,” she stressed.

The government previously approved the vaccination of all national athletes if they would be joining this year’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and the Tokyo Olympics, with more than 700 Philippine athletes receiving the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine in May. The athletes were classified under the A4 category.

“Our pool of national athletes mainly comes from the winners of the Palarong Pambansa or those who perform exceptionally in the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) and NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). So it would be in the best interest of Philippine amateur sports if our student-athletes are protected against COVID-19,” Nograles said.

“And even without competition, these athletes need to continuously train to maintain their level of physical fitness, and the only way to ensure they could do so safely would be to inoculate them against the coronavirus,” the Davaoeña lawyer added.

“It would be in the best interest of Philippine amateur sports if our student-athletes are protected against COVID-19.”

Season 84 of the UAAP and Season 96 of the NCAA, along with the Palarong Pambansa, were all canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Games in both collegiate athletic associations remain canceled this year, while the Department of Education has considered holding a virtual edition of some of the sporting events included in the Palaro.

The organizers of the 2021 Hanoi SEA Games have enforced a “no vaccine, no participation” policy for the regional competition that will be played from November 21 to December 2.

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