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November 15, 2021

by Mary Joy Saludo

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic took over, activities such as sports, festivals, and other events have been on a low in certain areas of the Philippines. This is due to certain sports being in more close contact with other players, like wrestling, making a higher risk of spreading the potential virus. Certain non-contact sports have still been in play such as biking, running and hiking. Now, there is a possibility of pursuing other contact sports again.

In an article by NewPost Editorial , Senator Christopher “Bong” Go supports the continuation of contact sports in lower risk areas and in the National Capital Region. This is following the Inter-Agency Task Force’s decision to classify the region in an Alert Level 2 quarantine. This classification is more relaxed since the majority of the minimum health protocols will not be observed as much. This is true for both those in Metro Manila and Davao City. Of course, the continuation of contact sports has guidelines to follow. These guidelines will require participants and observers to be fully vaccinated in order to encourage more Filipinos to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus.

In addition for competing athletes, in a GMA News article , there will be an implementation of a “no vaccine, no entry” policy by the Philippine Sports Commissions (PSC) for selected national teams’ training before January 10 of next year. Evaluations for the facilities are currently being done as some of the PSC venues were previously used during the first few days of the lockdowns as quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.

During November, according to Llemit’s article on SunStar , the Davao City Sports Division Chief Mikey Aportadera mentioned that there was coordination being done for the implementation of new guidelines for contact sports to ensure safety from Covid-19 infection during these certain sport events or activities. As of December of this year, contact and non-contact sports have officially returned to certain barangays and areas. As stated by , in the Resolution No. 50, additional guidelines were given in regulating the sports activities particularly Frisbee, football, basketball, and volleyball. The guidelines were adopted from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

In an article by Minanews , chaired by Mayor Sara Duterte, the Davao City Task Force COVID-19 is specifically allowing fully vaccinated athletes to play for the purpose of exercise. The task force is allowing barangay or reputable covered courts or open field areas to hold barangay games and contact sports. However, street games and basketball leagues are prohibited. Players who wish to play will have to present their legitimate, government-issued vaccination cards to the barangay staff or management of that certain sport venue. Even the staff of the sport venues are required to be fully vaccinated. In addition, games must be done strictly by appointments and reservations. Similar to the proposed guidelines in Metro Manila, the players must maintain safe distancing inside and outside the court and the wearing of masks is only optional for players in a play. In addition, along with a security enforcement group from the barangays, only 70% of the venue’s capacity for spectators will be allowed. With a separate entrance and exit, temperatures will be scanned upon entrance and exit as well as before and after games.

Athletes are sure to be excited, like Allan Abarca, who is a local basketball player in Davao City since active physical activities were previously halted for the last two years. It is during this time that he claimed he felt weaker. Courts and field areas have to be registered with the Business Bureau. Also, not all barangays will be included such as those that are still high risk will still be unable to participate until they will be placed to a lower risk classification.