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CHED to form TWG with PSC, DOH

A technical working group led by CHED will jot down the protocols for the "new normal" in college sports practices. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Commission on Higher Education is set to put up a technical working group with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health regarding the resumption of collegiate sports practices.

According to CHED chairman Popoy De Vera, the forming of the TWG is the first step toward crafting the protocols for student athletes to train again amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The decision to put up the TWG is a result of a meeting that we had last week with the PSC, GAB, and the Department of Health last week and my meeting this morning with Dean Kiko Diaz of the UP College of Human Kinetics and Coach Eric Altamirano," De Vera said on Monday, moments after Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced that collegiate squads can practice again.

[Related Story: College teams now cleared to train amid COVID-19 pandemic]

De Vera added that the practice guidelines for collegiate teams will be primarily based on the protocols set by the PBA, PFL, and Chooks-To-Go Pilipinas 3x3 regarding the resumption of their own practices.

Commissioners Altamirano, Willie Marcial, and Coco Torre were actually present in an online press conference where De Vera formally announced the clearance for the college teams to practice, and they relayed to the people invited in the said event how the Chooks 3x3, PBA, and PFL conduct their training now.

On how long it may take for the guidelines to be drafted, De Vera answered, "Once the TWG is organized, we will target a working timeline of about two weeks and maybe a maximum of three weeks," implying that the protocols could be released as soon as next month.

"You have to be a little bit patient with the timeline because there are two major challenges that we have to face," he added, pertaining to the number of collegiate leagues in the Philippines and the sports that are being played in each league.

De Vera further said that "a smaller group" will be the first to try out the practice protocols, likely the major leagues like the NCAA, UAAP, and CESAFI, before extending it to the other leagues.

The NCAA and the UAAP look to begin their respective seasons by early next year.

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