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PH muay thai body finds proposed fight sports body 'redundant' to GAB

Eight-division world boxing champ Senator Manny Pacquiao is seeking for a new sports body regulating professional combat sports in the Philippines. John Locher/AP (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The local governing body for muay thai thinks the Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission Senator Manny Pacquiao is trying to put up is "redundant" to the Games and Amusements Board.

In a statement on Monday, the Muaythai Association of the Philippines said, "The formulation of a new commission is redundant in its mandate with GAB and will overlap with the existing powers, duties, and functions performed by GAB, thus deeming it irrelevant and unnecessary."

In effect, MAP further stated, "After careful reconsideration of the proposed bill, the Muaythai Association of the Philippines expresses its continuous support to the Games and Amusements Board as the only governing body for professional sports in the country."

Pacquiao, the only eight-division world boxing champion, authored the bill seeking for the creation of the PBCSC in 2018.

Although it passed the final reading in the Senate by a "unanimous decision", the bill has been stalled for two years.

Pacquiao refiled the bill last year, while a second version of it was penned by Senator Bong Revilla.

No need for PBCSC

Earlier in the day, Senate Committee for Sports chairman Bong Go invited GAB chairman Baham Mitra and commissioners Ed Trinidad and Mar Masanguid to an online hearing to discuss the two PBCSC Bills.

Mitra believes that it is not yet the right time to discuss about the proposed PBCSC.

“While we support the honorable senators' desire to assist our boxers and combat sports professional athletes, this initiative to create an additional government agency may not be a good move as we are facing a pandemic and all government resources and efforts are geared towards that,” said Mitra.

He even said that there is no need to create the PBCSC.

"We at GAB feel that we have already improved our services and applied the advice that the good Senator [Pacquiao] has instructed us to do," Mitra further said.

Trinidad proposed that a new commissioner overseeing fight sports should be installed instead.

"May we suggest the appointment of another GAB commissioner whose functions will be focused on boxing and other combat sports instead of creating a new government agency," Trinidad said.

About the funds that will be used for the PBCSC, Masanguid said, “Mas makakabuti po siguro kung ang pondong gagamitin para sa pagtatayo ng PBC ay itulong na lamang natin sa mga tao.”

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