Minors prohibition draws flak

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Monday, February 17, 2014

BANNING combative sports to minors will do more harm rather than good for the country's grassroot program according to a bemedalled Wushu and mix martial arts head coach.

In a house bill filed by Ako Bicol Representatives Rodel Batocabe and Christopher Co, proposed bill numbered 3646 seeks to prohibit the participation of minors in competitive full contact sports such as boxing, mix martial arts, jujitsu, muay thai, judo and various forms of contact karate.

The bill stemmed from the death of a 16-year-old boxer who took part in a regional meet.


"While acknowledging the importance and benefits and the values that can be derived from participating in these sports, the measure recognizes the paramount need to protect the minors," the house bill said.

But Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao said banning combative sports to young athletes or minors in particular would also mean stunting the growth of combative in the country.

"Sa akin siguro alam naman ng mga bata kung ano ang ginagawa nila. Maganda na matuto yung mga bata at an early age sa combative sports although puwede sigurong limitahan yung pagsali nila sa mga mabibigat na competition," said the multi titled mix martial arts head coach.

Sangiao is taking cue on the recent 15th Team Lakay Grappling tournament where some 10 young athletes ranging from seven to 12 years old also participated.

"Sana huwag nilang ipagbawal ang mga bata kasi nagiging maganda ang foundation nila sa sports pag tumanda na sila," added Sangiao.

The bill, in its explanatory note prohibits the participation of minors only in full contact sports competition but regulates the participation in leisure, non – competitive sports and in training and would require parents, guardians, schools, and sports associations to undertake the necessary protection for the minors.

If the house bill is approved, any sports organization, institution, and event coordinators are not allowed to execute tournaments that are related to full contact sports involving minors.

Even parents and guardians have no room to escape from the proposed bill once the Congress approved it and signed by President Benigno Aquino III.

Respective fines will be charged with an amount of P50,000 for the first offense, while P200,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 18, 2014.


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