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Coronavirus scare prompts PSC to postpone Sports Summit, PNG

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez announced the postponement of the Philippine National Sports Summit and the PNG while pushing also for the postponement of the ASEAN Para Games. Jess Escaros/PNA
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The growing outbreak of the novel coronavirus forced the PSC to postpone two of its major events scheduled early this year.

"We are postponing big events of the PSC like the Philippine National Sports Summit supposed to be held at the PICC and the Philippine National Games that will be held in [the] Rizal Memorial [Sports Complex] and PhilSports [Arena in] Pasig," PSC chairman Butch Ramirez said in a press conference at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.

The sports summit was scheduled to take place at the end of the month, while the PNG was set for May, but following a meeting with the PSC board on Wednesday, the postponement was made along with other events where at least 40 people are expected in attendance.

On when the new dates will be announced, Ramirez said, "Pag gumanda na ang panahon, because the secretariats of both activities are prepared, we can schedule the summit and even the Philippine National Games."

Ramirez also announced that the PSC will postpone this year's Batang Pinoy, which was also supposed to take place here.

"We are postponing all of these including our Children's Games all over the country except for pocket activities like coaches education and consultative meeting because we are avoiding a bigger assembly of people for fear of the times," Ramirez added.

Interestingly, some time in between the two major events is the ASEAN Para Games, and Ramirez said that the PSC board resolved to have it postponed too.

"We have a board resolution advising the [ASEAN Para Games] to postpone the games in March," Ramirez continued.

Initially scheduled last month, just after last year's Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Paralympic Committee pushed the ASEAN Para Games to March due to lack of hosting preparations.

Ramirez, however, clarified that the Philippine Paralympic Committee led by Mike Barredo will be the one that will make the final decision regarding the new possible postponement.

"It is not the PSC under the Office of the President to declare na postpone siya," Ramirez cleared the situation out.

He, however, added, "He will fly to Thailand to discuss with the ASEAN federation for paralympics.... Mike Barredo, as he committed, will make a presscon to say what happened to his discussion."

Also, Ramirez said that the PSC will talk to the Philippine Badminton Association for the possible postponement of the Badminton Asia Team Championships set for next week also at Rizal Memorial.

"I will request my ED (executive director) to communicate to [the Philippine] Badminton Association for a meeting because the position of the Philippine Sports Commission, talagang postponement of activities like this," he continued.

Meanwhile, PSC commissioner Charles Maxey said that the organization is waiting for DepEd and DILG to hold a briefing on whether the Palarong Pambansa, scheduled this summer in Marikina, will be postponed as well.

"Chairman [Ramirez] is waiting for the Palaro board to call a meeting," Maxey said. "Definitely, the chairman will be there when they discuss the possibility of postponing the Palarong Pambansa." Maxey said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno