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DOH grants PSL permission to train after MECQ

Philippine Superliga chairman Popoy Juico has just received word from the Department of Healthy that its club teams will be allowed to resume training.

All eight teams, namely Chery Tiggo, Cignal, F2 Logistics, Generika-Ayala, Marinerang Pilipina, Petron, PLDT, and Sta. Lucia, will return to practice after the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby cities is lifted tentatively on August 18.

“I am pleased to inform you that the health and safety protocols that we submitted to the Department of Health had been approved with some recommendations,” said Juico.

“This is really a big development as we are the first volleyball league to be allowed to return to training. We assured the government that we will do everything to follow the protocols and make sure that training and conditioning sessions would be safe and healthy for everyone.”

In the letter, DOH Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago approved and made some recommendations on the health and safety guidelines submitted by the PSL regarding the conduct of physical activities and sports during the coronavirus pandemic.

Santiago stated that practices of PSL teams would start under the general community quarantine, where only five players would be allowed with a skeletal workforce of up to 10 persons and non-contact sports limited only to strength training.

Juico, on the other hand, added that mandatory swab testing is no longer needed since women’s volleyball is not as physical as professional basketball, football, and boxing, which were all given the approval to return to training through a Joint Administrative Order from the DOH, Games and Amusement Board and the Philippine Sports Commission.

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Instead, swab testing would in accordance to the discretion of all member teams.

They, however, were required to coordinate with the various local government units, where teams would conduct their trainings, to ensure proper monitoring and compliance.

Teams were also instructed to appoint a medical liaison that would monitor the movements of players and coaches and report it to Dr. Raul Alcantara to make sure that all DOH-approved guidelines would be followed.

With regards to the resumption of the 2020 All-Filipino Conference, Juico and his team will have to formulate another set of proposals that will strictly implement the guidelines set forth by the agencies.

“We will write again to DOH after one or two months of training to seek approval for the start of our competition, which is the All-Filipino Conference,” Juico said.

“But for now, we have to make sure that all protocols would be followed and trainings would be safe for everyone, especially to the athletes.”

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