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GAB, PSC draw line between pros and amateurs

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) issued Joint Resolution No. 2020-01 last October 16, which provides guidelines on the definitions of a professional athlete and professional sports or competitions.

To guide sports stakeholders and help sports regulators in the performance of their functions and ensure the proper implementation of the PSC-GAB-Department of Health (DOH) Joint Administrative Order No. 2020-0001, the two agencies have decided to redefine certain terms related to professional sports and non-professional sports.

GAB and PSC, attached agencies under the Office of the President, are the two regulatory bodies for sports in the Philippines. GAB, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 871 and Executive Order No. 120, is mandated to regulate and supervise all professional sports and games.

PSC, on the other hand, is created to serve as the sole-policy making and coordinating body for all amateur sports development programs and institutions in the country pursuant to Republic Act No. 6847.

“This joint resolution fulfills a very long felt need in sports community—If an athlete gets paid and does not play for the flag, then he or she is a professional athlete,” said GAB chairman Baham Mitra.

According to GAB-PSC joint resolution, professional sports or competitions shall refer to individual or team sports, games, contests, bouts, tournament,s or competitions, whereby the participating athletes are paid sums of money or other forms of compensation as salary or prizes.

“We must remember that the JAO only allows the resumption of professional sports competitions in areas classified as low risk during this time of pandemic. According to the JAO, the holding of actual games for amateur sports shall be suspended until such time effective vaccines or medicines are developed,” continued Mitra.

The GAB-PSC JAO has also removed sports competitions under the auspices of PSC, schools, colleges, universities, and athletic associations or organizations of colleges and universities from the definition of professional sports or competition.

“With this development, it is hoped that there will be no confusion of any kind among sports stakeholders and implementors in the future.”

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