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Solon seeks automatic civil service eligibility for athletes winning int’l games

/ 06:57 PM December 02, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao proposed Monday the automatic civil service eligibility and licensing as full-fledged professionals of Filipino athletes who have won in international competitions recognized by the world sports governing bodies.

In a statement, the chair of the House committee on civil service and professional regulation also proposed the creation of a professional regulatory board for the sports and allied professions, with athletes, coaches, fitness trainers, referees, and sports officials as the core groups.

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“Our athletes, players, coaches, instructors, officials, and fitness trainers have devoted their lives to sports as their careers. In truth and in reality, they have made sports their occupation and for this reason, they all deserve to be formally recognized in our laws as sports professionals,” Siao said.

The lawmaker also pointed out that sports professionals and associates are recognized in the International Labor Office International Standard of Classification of Occupations.

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He stressed that licensing and certifying the various sports occupations in an integrated profession would be a “step forward” in “ensuring proper compensation and benefits, civil service eligibility, career stability, professional growth, and retirement,” of athletes and trainers alike.

Key roles for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Games and Amusement Board, which are the agencies regulating the conduct of amateur and professional sports events, could be included in the regulatory board, according to the congressman.

“I am open to suggestions from the PSC on how they would want to be involved in the licensing and certification of the sports professionals,” Siao said.

“When implemented nationwide, this profession licensing would benefit all those many athletes who labor in the thousands of gyms and fitness centers scattered all over the country,” the district representative added.

Siao, who had also authored several sports-related bills including House Bill 1990 (Extreme Sports Safety and Insurance Act) and House Bill 1993 (Drowning Prevention Act), said he would consult experts and stakeholders on his proposal in the coming days.

Edited by KGA

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