House panel approves resolution to prioritize athletes for COVID-19 vaccine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2021 06:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino athletes -- particularly those who will compete in the Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games -- are now part of the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine.

This, after the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development on Tuesday approved the creation of a substitute resolution to House Resolution 1507.

The resolution, authored by Deputy Speaker Michael Romero, urges the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) and the appropriate government agencies to include the national athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics and SEA Games in the list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination. 

Rep. Faustino Michael Carlos Dy III, chair of the committee, noted that the International Olympic Committee does not require competitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nonetheless, he proposed an amendment to HR 1507 to also include other national athletes competing for other tournaments this year in the list of priority groups alongside the vulnerable sectors and health workers. 

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez, who attended the online meeting, expressed his hope that the IATF would approve the inclusion of the para athletes in the vaccination program. 

Aside from the Tokyo Olympics and SEA Games, the Philippines will also participate in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Bahrain 2021 Asian Youth Para Games and 11th ASEAN Para Games in Vietnam. 

Also on Tuesday, the panel approved and consolidated HRs 1500 and 1520, commending Alex Eala for winning her first professional title in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament; as well as HR 1548, commending Ernest John Obiena for winning the gold medal in pole vault at the Internationales Stadionfest held at Berlin, Germany.

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