Boxing official against HB preventing minors in contact sports
By Lito delos Reyes
Wed, 05 Feb 2014
DAVAO CITY (PNA) Feb. 5 – A boxing official in Davao doest not agree on the proposed house bill that will already prohibit minors from joining in the tournaments of any contact sports especially in boxing.
“It’s like saying kids should go to college without passing through elementary and high school,” said Gene Rose Tecson, team manager of Barangay Una Boxing Team of Panabo City and Davao del Norte.
Tecson, chief of staff of Cong. Anton Lagdameo, suggested that boxing organizers should just “make sure especially during tournaments that the kids have gone through proper training and medical check-up and not those perfunctory things that they do.”
“More importantly, they have properly trained referees-judges manning the bouts, tournaments and not those ‘pinulot lang sa tabi’ or recycled ones just to ensure the tournament will go on,” said Tecson, also Assistant Executive Director for Mindanao Area 2 of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines Inc.
Barangay Una recently won four gold medals plus two silvers and four bronzes in the just-concluded Batang Pinoy National Games (15 under) held in Bacolod City.
The gold medallists in the boys’ division were Jerald Cantero (36 kgs.), Joewellan Cantero (42 kgs.), John Benedict Cadavido (44 kgs.) and Marjun Painar (flyweight).
The silver medals were courtesy of Jiple Jay Cabrera (46 kgs.) and Darwin Caderao (light flyweight), while the bronze medallists were paperweight Jestine Tesoro, light pinweight Judy Flores, bantamweight Jhunrick Carcedo and light flyweight Ferdinand Apat.
Ako Bikol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and fellow Ako Bicol Rep. Christopher Co filed House Bill 3646 that aims to prohibit the participation of minors in competitive full-contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts, jujitsu, muay thai, judo, and various forms of full-contact karate.
“Meaning to say below 18 hindi po pwedeng magkaroon ng competition sa contact sports na kung saan ang kumpetisyon ay makatama ka sa katawan ng kalaban,” Batocabe said in an interview with TJ Manotoc on "The Score" of TV Channel Studio 23 last Tuesday night.
During the TV interview, Batocabe said the safety gear being used in amateur contact sports is not enough to protect young athletes from injury. He said a direct hit on the head can shake the brain and leave long-term effects.
“Ang sinasabi nila, okay may gear ka nga. Ang pinoprotektahan lang nyan ay yung labas ng ulo mo. Pero yung utak mo pag natamaan yan ay nayayanig. ‘Yan po ay may matagalang epekto,” said Batocabe.
He said that only when a person reaches the legal age should he or she be allowed to compete in contact sports because the person is already old enough to decide for himself or herself.
Batocabe compared the bill to laws that prohibit minors from smoking, drinking, or driving.
“Parang sinasabi mong karapatan ng batang uminom, manigarilyo o mag-drive,” he said. “Ang sinasabi lang natin dito, habang bata ka, wala ka pa sa hustong gulang ay obligasyon ng pamahalaan na protektahan ka.”
Batocabe and Co have decided to push for the bill following the death of 16-year-old amateur boxer Jonas Joshua Garcia.
Garcia was rendered in comatose after competing in the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association in Iba, Zambales. He later passed away.
“Habang wala ka pang kapasidad na magdesisyon sa sarili mo ay ‘wag muna. Kung nasa edad ka na at despite of all these consequences, then by all means pwede ka nang sumabak sa competition,” said Batocabe.
He also said the bill aims to "protect and not suppress."
“In the first place, kahit sabihin natin na nagsimula ka ng 5 years, old, 6 years old, o kahit noong hindi pa natin ipinagbabawal ay hanggang ngayon hindi pa tayo nakakagold sa Olympics,” he said.
Batocabe believes that the proposed ban on minors joining full-contact sports won't affect the country's ability to produce world-class fighters.
“Ang kailangan lang natin dito ay proper training, proper discipline and of course ‘yung proper timing ‘di ba? Kahit papaano sa Olympics, may swerte rin di ba?” – LITO DELOS REYES (with a report from ABSCBN.news.com)
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