The Philippine Superliga is set to return to training as soon as the government lifts the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby cities.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico yesterday said they have formally received the green light to return to training through a memorandum from the Department of Health dated 23 July.
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.
The DoH stated that practices of PSL teams would start under the general community quarantine, where only five players would be allowed with skeletal workforce of up to 10 persons and non-contact sports limited only to strength training.
Juico said the news was such a major development since they officially became the first women’s volleyball league to be given the go-signal to resume their training and conditioning sessions.
“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,” Juico said in a statement.
“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.”
A former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and currently the president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Juico said 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.
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—the league’s head of the medical oversight committee—to make sure that all DoH-approved guidelines would be followed.
“Each team will have a medical representative or a liaison,” Juico said.
“These liaisons would be the one who will monitor the movement of the players and log their observations in a time sheet that would be submitted to the league’s medical oversight committee. We will assure that everything will be kept in private in accordance to the confidentiality clause between doctor and patients.”
The MECQ started Tuesday and will last until 18 August.
“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.”