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PSC seeks ASEAN Paralympics postponement

By Nick Giongco

Putting premium on the safety not only of athletes and delegates but the entire nation as well, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on Thursday strongly recommended that the ASEAN Paralympics scheduled in March be postponed owing to the worsening Wuhan coronavirus epidemic.

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez presides during a press conference on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. (PSC Images via Twitter)

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez presides during a press conference on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. (PSC Images via Twitter)

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez told the media during a briefing that a board resolution has been passed calling for the postponement of the ASEAN Paralympics.

Ramirez said proceeding with the hosting would endanger the well-being and safety not only of those taking part but the country as well with visitors from neighboring countries and Chinese technical officials participating.

The ASEAN Paralympics was supposed to take place in March at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac, where the 2019 Southeast Asian Games was held.

“Common sense dictates that we should not proceed with the holding,” said Ramirez, adding that he received a directive from MalacaƱang on Wednesday.

Though it is not the Philippines’ call to decide on the matter, the PSC’s stand on the issue should weigh heavily on the decision that will be made by the head of the ASEAN Paralympics.

Mike Barredo, who heads the Philippine Paralympic Committee, is traveling to Bangkok on Friday to relay the message of the Philippine government and determine what moves to take.

As host, the Philippines is spending for the holding of the biennial sportsfest and it would be very difficult to proceed with the event without crucial government backing.

The PSC also scrapped the National Sports Summit scheduled Feb. 27-28, the Philippine National Games in May and events and activities that require the participation of 40 or more.

The postponement and cancellation of sporting events in Asia have been happening the past few weeks as the Wuhan medical situation continues to take the spotlight across the globe.

In China alone, several Olympic qualifying tournaments and similar events have been either postponed or scrapped, including qualifying events in boxing and women’s football and the Asian Indoor Athletics championships.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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