Philippine government offers sports stadiums for COVID-19 patients

© Inquirer
© Inquirer

Manila, Philippines, March 30, 2020: The Philippine Sports Commission has volunteered its own sports venues to ease the pressure on hospitals in the fight against COVID-19, reports

PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) had sent its staff to survey the Philsports Complex in Pasig City. The staff will also visit the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila this week.

“These are government facilities and we are already anticipating that it might come to a point that these can be used as venue options to decongest the hospitals,” said Ramirez.

With the help of the DPWH, Ramirez said they would assess how the different facilities inside the Philsports Complex and RMSC could be used in line with the requirements of the Department of Health.

“We have the space newly renovated, fully air conditioned and with a steady water supply,” said Ramirez.

The RMSC and Philsports are home to over a thousand athletes and coaches from various sports.

The majority of them were asked to go home before the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine two weeks ago except for around 30 athletes and coaches, medical and admin staff assisting them and security personnel guarding the two complexes.

With COVID-19 infections reaching over a thousand cases in the country, the venues being considered for use at the Philsports Complex are the multi-purpose arena and track oval.

“These times call for unselfish patriotism. These times call for everyone to be heroes,” said Ramirez. “This is us, the sporting community stepping up to the plate.”

The historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and Rizal Baseball Stadium have been identified as possible venues inside the RMSC.

“Sport has been placed at the back burner during this trying part of our journey as a people. However, it does not mean we just sit and watch,” said Ramirez.

The Philippine Sports Commission is the government's sports ministry and works alongside the Philippine Olympic Committee in the administration and management of sport in the country.