MANILA, Philippines -- National athletes and coaches are still receiving their allowances, and employees of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) are still being paid their wages despite the enhanced community quarantine in the country.
This was the assurance of PSC chairman William "Butch" Ramirez during a press briefing on Wednesday hosted by the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
Ramirez explained in the press briefing that they advised most of the national athletes and coaches to return home even before the lockdown was put in place on March 17.
"It's not easy to manage 1,000 national athletes. So we advised the athletes na umuwi muna sa kanilang mga lugar, mga probinsya. At pangalawa, mina-manage din natin iyong mga atleta na nasa iba't ibang bansa," he added.
"Ang naiwan pong mga atleta ngayon sa PhilSports Arena, may mga 30 athletes po, dalawang foreign coaches, at saka apat na Filipino coaches."
These athletes and coaches are being well taken care of, Ramirez said.
"Another good news, tuloy-tuloy po iyong mga salaries sa empleyado ng PSC at saka iyong mga allowances ng national athletes saka coaches," he also assured.
The athletes and coaches at the PhilSports Arena are provided not just with food and lodging but also medical attention, should they need it. Their psychology department is also active in providing counseling to athletes online.
The PSC is also offering more buildings that can be used as quarantine facilities.
They initially offered the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the PhilSports Arena, but Ramirez said that more facilities are available.
"Kapag kailangan na magkaroon ng tent stadium iyong Rizal Memorial track oval, iyong baseball ground at saka iyong tulugan ng mga frontliners. May mga ilan pang mga buildings doon na puwedeng i-occupy ng mga doctors, nurses in other areas," he explained.
"Dito naman sa PhilSports Arena sa Pasig, iyong PhilSports Arena na nilaruan ng Southeast Asian Games volleyball, saka mayroon ding track oval," he added.
"So bale sa Philippine Sports Commission, we have seven to eight (buildings) available kapag gagamitin ng gobyerno."
The Ninoy Aquino Stadium inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex is ready to accept patients. It features 112 beds and is manned by the AFP Medical Corps.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).