Every Filipino athlete bound for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in Vietnam is guaranteed to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and representative of Cavite, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, made the guarantee Wednesday after obtaining a grant of 40,000 dollars from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) especially intended for the purchase of vaccines for the team from the Philippines.

“This is good news for the Filipino athletes who will participate in the SEA Games. Once vaccinated, they can train with very little fear of infection, ” said Tolentino, who has appointed POC first vice president Al Panlilio as chair of the procurement task force. in vaccines.

Acquiring vaccines through the OCA is separate from the engagement of port tycoon Enrique Razon, who offered to donate Moderna vaccines to the country’s delegation to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Tolentino said. The vaccines should arrive in late May or early June.

“It would be up to the working group to decide which brand and when to start the sourcing process,” said Tolentino.

“We will get the first vaccine available that can be purchased. We can’t choose, ” added the President of the Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines. A total of 626 athletes from 39 sports were entered by the POC during the Biennial Sports Biennial from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2 in Hanoi.

Tolentino said the POC would make the purchase as a private entity just days after Malacañang allowed nongovernmental institutions and businesses to obtain vaccines for their workforce.

“This is positive news for our athletes,” said Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission, team leader of the Philippines team at the SEA Vietnam Games.

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