Senate Committee on Youth and Sports and Health chair Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go told SovereignPH that he has already appealed to the Covid-19 InterAgency Task Force to also prioritize the athletes and coaches particularly those who are bound for the Tokyo Olympics in July and the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam in November.
Covid-19 National Task Force chief Carlito Galvez Jr. agreed to review how the appeal could be implemented.
“Secretary Galvez responded positively and is currently studying how our competing athletes could be prioritized without prejudice to other sectors that have already been identified as top priority for vaccination such as frontliners and those belonging in poor and vulnerable sectors,” Go added.
Go said that the Filipino athletes deserve all the protection during the pandemic because they represent the country in overseas competitions.
“Let us not forget that in the 2019 SEA Games hosted by our country, the Philippines became the overall champion,” Go added. “They carry our flag to bring home glory. Our government, the private sector and ordinary Filipinos cannot but unite as one for our athletes.”
There are only 996 national athletes, 262 coaches, 280 para-athletes and 82 para-coaches in the roster of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero also echoed the appeal to the IATF prioritizing vaccination for athletes bound for the Tokyo Olympics set from July 23 to August 8 and SEA Games to be held in Vietnam from November 21 to December 2.
Philippine Sports Commission, meanwhile, said it would push for assistance in anticipation of the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics requiring the vaccination of athletes ahead of the games.