MANILA – A lawmaker on Friday pushed for the passage of a measure seeking to create a commission that will oversee the grant of welfare benefits and incentives to boxers, kickboxers, and all other athletes engaged in combat sports.
Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte said the proposed Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission (PBCSC) under House Bill 9443 will be tasked to provide and implement the necessary incentives and benefits “long overdue” to all professional boxers and combat sports athletes who have brought honor and prestige to the country.
Villafuerte said it will become the single agency to formulate, initiate, plan and implement a national policy for the growth of professional boxing and other combat sports in the country.
“For all the accolades that our boxers and combatant champions bring, it is high time that their welfare is prioritized,” he said.
Under the bill, all professional boxers and combat sports athletes shall be enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or PAG-IBIG, and shall be entitled to all the benefits being offered by these state-run firms.
The bill also proposes that boxers and other combat sports athletes would be exempted from the payment of travel tax, airport tax, and any other travel-related taxes or fees if they are to compete in international competitions.
He noted that retired and injured boxers or combat sports athletes will likewise be given alternative livelihood programs under the proposed law.
The bill refers to combat sports as boxing; fist fighting in any of its styles, kickboxing in any of its styles; and any sport, martial art, or activity that involves, in accordance with the applicable regulation, striking, kicking, hitting, grappling, throwing and/or punching opponents. (PNA)