Clark to ensure tighter safety measures for FIBA bubble
Tighter measures are expected in Clark as it was chosen to host another major sports event, following the announcement of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to hold here the third and last window of the Asia Cup qualifiers next year.
“This is such a great privilege not only for Clark but for the entire country to host one of the qualifiers for FIBA and we want to assure everybody that we will ensure the safety and health of everyone in the bubble. That is the first and most important objective that we have. And building on the success of the PBA bubble, gagawin pa nating mas istrikto at mas safe itong upcoming bubble na ito,” says Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) President and CEO Vince Dizon during the virtual press conference held Saturday, December 19.
Dizon is also the deputy chief implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 and currently serves as the officer-in-charge for the chairmanship of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC).
Also present during the media briefing are PBA Commissioner Cong. Willie Marcial, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio, PBA Deputy Commissioner Eric Castro, SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios and Deputy Executive Director Butch Antonio, and CDC OIC-President and CEO Engr. Mariza Mandocdoc.
Dizon cited some of the strict protocols implemented during the PBA bubble and which will be heightened for the FIBA qualifiers next year. These include regular testing of the players and other members of the delegation upon entering the bubble and during the games, and the mandatory isolation while waiting for negative RT-PCR test results.
“We will follow the standard testing and isolation protocols for all arriving passengers from abroad. If they turn out positive then they need to go through the mandatory quarantine period and only after they are cleared will they be allowed to be released,” Dizon said.
Apart from these, the PBA bubble protocols include regular sanitation of all facilities, delivery of packed meals to the hotel rooms, and use of the StaySafe.ph application for easier and a more efficient contact tracing.
Both the PBA and SBP thanked the BCDA and CDC for the measures set in place in hosting a safe bubble.
“Hindi po nagkamali ang PBA na maging partner at pinili ang Clark sa bubble. Kasi ‘yung expertise po ni Secretary Vince at ‘yung team niya…ang Quest Hotel, ang Angeles University Foundation, na ginawa po nila ang lahat para matuloy ang bubble na ito. Muli po, nagpapasalamat po kami for making the PBA bubble a success,” Marcial said.
Panlilio meanwhile assured that though FIBA will set its own guidelines for the qualifiers, the organization will ensure that it will be closely linked with the existing protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“What interested FIBA to take a look into this as a bubble is our success in the PBA bubble because we really followed the IATF guidelines, and FIBA has its own guidelines but I think it will be married with the IATF guidelines but I’m sure it’s going to be a very safe venue and that is paramount to all the games to make sure that we are in very safe conditions.”
All protocols in the FIBA bubble will be subject for approval of the IATF-EID and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in coordination with the Regional Task Force.
The last window of the Asia Cup Qualifiers will be held in February 2021. Clark will host eight national teams from Group A which include the Gilas Pilipinas Men, and other teams from South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand. Group C which includes teams from New Zealand, Australia, Guam, and Hong Kong, is also set to compete in the country.
Aside from the Philippines, Japan and Bahrain are the two other countries chosen to host the said qualifiers.