Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said that national sports associations are now in talks with local government units for the preparation of national athletes ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
The cage luminary last month called on LGUs to welcome NSAs if possible for the sake of the Vietnam-bound flag bearers since their training got stalled by the pandemic, and it seems that his plea was heard given the development.
“Most of the NSA are now busy talking to the LGUs,” Fernandez told the Philippine Sportswriters’ Association Forum, Tuesday.
Fernandez actually attended the webcast all the way from Baguio, where he met with the management committee of Mayor Benjamin Magalong as the city is set to host the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association’s training bubble.
Important matters have already been discussed, from the athletes’ lodging all the way to the health protocols, according to the commissioner.
“I’m here in Baguio right now. I just came from the management committee meeting of Mayor Magalong. They are hosting PATAFA. Nakausap ni Mayor Magalong si Philip Juico (PATAFA president),” Fernandez said.
“So, PATAFA will be training here at the Baguio Oval. They will be staying at the billeting quarters of DepEd dito sa Teachers’ Camp. They’ve discussed the security measures, the health protocols, and so on this morning.”
Aside from PATAFA, Baguio will also host the national boxing team, which has been one of the busier squads over the past few months.
“And of course, boxing will definitely be here,” said Fernandez in the weekly session powered by SMART and presented by San Miguel Corp., MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and PAGCOR.
The 67-year-old official also said that Tagaytay will be the location of ‘several NSAs’ for their respective training camps, according to Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.
The incumbent representative of the 8th Districts of Cavite and a former mayor of Tagaytay, Tolentino is also the president of Philcycling.
“I gathered from President Bambol also that Tagaytay will be hosting several NSAs; Calamba and Santa Rosa,” he said.
Fernandez said that they advised the federations to stage their respective bubbles within Luzon only for economical reasons, although there are some teams that have already flown out for their training camps.
The archery team has been in Dumaguete City, while the national fencers have been busy gearing up in Ormoc City, Leyte.
“Advice namin sa kanila, dito lang sa Luzon, para, well, menos gastos nga, ‘no. You don’t have to fly out to Visayas or Mindanao–except for those that are already there. So they are all busy right now.”