ATHLETES playing in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL), Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) are considered professionals. Likewise, the leagues where they belong must be under the supervision of the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
No if’s, no but’s.
The issues on the claimant of commercial leagues and school-based competition has finally put to rest after the Philippine Sports Commission and GAB – two sports agencies attached under the Office of the President (OP) – signed a joint resolution drawing a clear line between professional and amateur sports.
“The Joint Resolution is to guide sports stakeholders and help sports regulators in the performance of their functions and ensure the proper implementation of the PSC-GAB-Department of Health (DOH) Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001, the two agencies have decided to redefine certain terms related to professional sports and non-professional sports,” claimed PSC Chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez.
GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra said the GAB-PSC Joint Resolution No. 2020-01 which they signed last October 16, 2020 clearly defined the difference between professional and amateur athletes.
“This joint resolution fulfills a very long-felt need in the sports community. If an athlete gets paid and does not play for the [national] flag, then he or she is a professional athlete,’’ said GAB Chairman Abraham ‘Baham’ Mitra.
He explained that it would guide sports stakeholders and help sports regulators in the performance of their functions and ensure the proper implementation of the PSC-GAB-DOH (Department of Health) Joint Administrative Order (JAO) No. 2020-0001.
The GAB which was created pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 871 and Executive Order No. 120 was mandated to regulate and supervise all pro sports and games in the country.
While the PSC, created in 1990 pursuant to Republic Act No. 6847 was served as the sole policy-making and coordinating body for all amateur sports development programs and institutions.
Under the joint resolution of the PSC and the GAB, professional sports or competitions refer to individual or team sports, games, contests, bouts, tournaments where the participating athletes are paid sums of money or other forms of compensation as salary or prizes.
The GAB-PSC agreement has also removed sports competitions under the auspices of the PSC, schools, colleges, universities and athletic associations or organizations of colleges and universities from the definition of pro sports or competition.
“With this development, it is hoped that there will be no confusion of any kind among sports stakeholders and implementers in the future,’’ Mitra said.
Earlier, the PSL which was organized by former PSC Chairman Philip Juico, the PVL of the group of Ateneo Sports Director Ricky Palou and the MPBL of Senator Manny Pacquiao has announced on the resumption of their leagues pending the approval from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
The three leagues, however, were not sanctioned by GAB and were not affiliated with school organizations or any of the sports development program of the PSC.
“We must remember that the IATF based on JAO recommendation only allows the resumption of professional sports competitions in areas classified as low risk during this time of pandemic. The holding of actual games for amateur sports shall be suspended until such time effective vaccines or medicines are developed,” added Mitra.