By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is requesting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the renewal of detailed service (DS) to military athletes and coaches who served as frontliners since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic broke out last year.
In a letter to AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana dated March 22, PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez said 100 military athletes and coaches from various National Sports Associations were recalled by their mother units in the AFP to help the government in its effort to combat the spread of the deadly virus.
“Detailed service” is the temporary movement from one agency to another in which the PSC, AFP and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) agreed upon. Under the agreement, military athletes and coaches who are part of the national team can be excused from their military duties to train for a certain tournament.
Among the NSAs with military athletes and coaches are athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, cycling, judo, kurash, muay, lawn bowls, rowing, sailing, sambo, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, water polo and wrestling.
Several coaches and trainers for the differently-abled are also included in the list.
In a separate letter, Ramirez is also requesting for an extension of detailed service for national boxers Eumir Marcial, Mario Fernandez, Josie Gabuco, Ian Clark Bautista and Riza Pasuit, as well as coaches Gerson Nietes, Joegin Ladon, and Violito Payla from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.
The athletes are now deep in training for Olympic Qualifying Competitions as well as the 2021 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam set late November with select boxers in a training camp in Thailand.
Like the boxers, some national athletes are gearing up for the SEAG where the Philippines seek to retain its overall championship.
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