MANILA—The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (AITF-EID) has approved the recommendation of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) for the cockfighting to resume all over the country, after the approval of the guidelines being formulated by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra, in an interview in DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program on October 17, said the IATF-EID approved the conduct of cockfighting with no audience but only the direct participants and individuals essential to the game are allowed in the cockpit arena.
Mitra said the actual conduct of the cockfighting will resume soon based on the guidelines the DILG formulated and approved while the IATF-EID only permits its conduct with no actual betting, shouting and yelling and livestream.
He considers cockfighting as an industry worth some P50B which he said had affected millions of people who directly depend on it for their livelihood since the government prohibited the operation of 1,200 cockpits all over the country seven months ago at the start of the pandemic.
“Let us not consider cockfighting as vice,” Mitra said.
He emphasized it is the local government units (LGUs) that will give cockpit owners the permits to resume their operation.
Mitra said as early as June 10 they have already appealed for the resumption of cockfighting because so many people had been affected by the suspension of cockfighting.
He recalls that two months ago horse racing was already allowed and the professional sports the IATF-EID now allowed include football, basketball and boxing.
“Despite the pandemic there are new professional leagues that have come forward outside of the PBA which is playing in a bubble in Clark right now. A few days from now Chooks-to-Go 3×3. Ito yong larong kalye na 3 on 3 ba (This is the street game 3 on 3). Ngayon po nag-professional na (Now it has professionalized),” Mitra said.
He disclosed that the professional 3×3 has started its games in Inspire Studio in Laguna and in Carmona on October 24 the football league will start their game.
“Despite the pandemic, nabubuhay naman po ang professional sports (the professional sports’ alive),” Mitra said.
He shared that they had argued to the IATF-EID to allow professional sports to continue because the players in that category “play for pay” for a living while the sports which are not professional like inter-school games, Palarong Pambasnsa and others are still prohibited.