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MANILA, Philippines – Even after an ordered lockdown on government sports facilities, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will continue to look after the national athletes and coaches who were left behind.
A total of 28 athletes, 4 Filipino coaches and 2 Korean coaches – from fencing, boxing, athletics, and 6 para sports – were unable to secure tickets back to their home destinations, prompting the government sports agency to accommodate them.
According to PSC dormitory manager Roselle Destura, the athletes and coaches will remain billeted at the PSC dormitories in the Philsports complex in Pasig City.
They will be provided with food, recreation facilities, and medical monitoring as Metro Manila was officially on lockdown on Sunday, March 15.
Although athletes were asked to vacate PSC’s facilities on Thursday, March 12, chairman William “Butch” Ramirez personally instructed the agency’s officials to ensure the unhampered delivery of basic services to the national athletes.
“These are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary commitment and service from all of us,” explained Ramirez.
In previous announcements, the agency closed its two major facilities – the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila and Philsports in Pasig.
Acting executive director Merlita Ibay supervised the sanitation activities in both venues and assisted athletes in booking their plane tickets.
The two deputy executive directors Atty Guillermo Iroy and Simeon Rivera, meanwhile, ensured that staff are available for any medical emergencies, delivery of basic services in the facilities and its remaining occupants, as well as the processing of salaries and allowances of national coaches and athletes.
“We all increase our susceptibility when we go out of our homes, but we also know that there are very basic services that we need to deliver,” said Ramirez, who has been very hands-on in ensuring that all preventive measures are taken for the safety of athletes, coaches and employees.
“I appreciate the sacrifice of our officers and staff to brave the risk to work on these things. Ito talagang para sa inang bayan (This is for our country).”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Philippines climbed to 111 on Saturday night, March 14 with a total of 8 deaths.
Globally, the virus has infected more than 150,000 people and recorded over 5,800 deaths. – Rappler.com