MANILA, Philippines — The government has started the rollout of vaccination among student-athletes in Metro Manila universities.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said this is part of their preparation in case face-to-face classes, physical training, and sports activities in universities will finally be allowed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
CHED said around 300 student-athletes at the college level have received their first dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine.
University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) president Emmanuel Calanog said they will be pushing for the restaging of the basketball league this coming February 2022.
They plan to start training and other activities in November to prepare their athletes for the league.
“That’s November, December, January. We have about three and a half months for them to train to get back to competition to be able to start in February. Yung volleyball naman ang target namin doon is after holy week. So, there is more time. More or less, that’s the schedule. And, of course, what the government will allow at that time,” Calanog said.
He added that basketball and volleyball players in their member schools are already 100 percent vaccinated, and all they are waiting for is the approval of the government for them to resume sports activities.
Member schools, Calanog added, have also conducted retrofitting and adjustment of sports facilities.
Meanwhile, CHED chairperson Prospero De Vera III said they are now preparing the guidelines to be implemented in sports activities in colleges and universities.
“Ngayong marami na ang bakuna, mababa-vaccniate na yung mga estudyante, mga athletes. The only thing we have to do is to tweak the guidelines given these circumstances now,” De Vera said.
“Noong kinrop (crop) yung policy konti pa lang ang bakuna. Ngayong madami na, iba na yung context ng guidelines. So, the guidelines have to be rewritten,” he added.
NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said 100 percent of student-athletes must be fully vaccinated before the government gives its approval for the resumption of training activities.
“I suggest talagang kailangang ma-vaccinate na natin ng first dose yung lahat ng mga athletes before the end of October para yung second dosing natin we can finish by November. You can start already yung mga practices ninyo,” Galvez said.
“I-encourage na talagang ngayon month maximize na natin talagang bakunahan na natin lahat ng mga athletes so that we can start early the training,” he added.
The NTF and the Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, have agreed to intensify the vaccination rollout among teaching and non-teaching personnel at elementary and secondary levels.
DepEd has prepared the list of teachers and school personnel to be submitted to the IATF for the inoculation drive.
“Nakipagpulong ang kagawaran sa NTF, yung vaccination task force ng gobyerno, para ma-accelerate yung vaccination ng ating teachers at ibang school personnel,” said DepEd Director Roger Masapol. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)