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Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao bill pushes for PHL boxing commission

September 14, 2013 2:06pm

Filipino boxers may finally get a number of benefits, if a bill filed by their idol and fellow boxer Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao is passed into law.

Pacquiao lodged House Bill 59, which seeks to provide comprehensive health care benefits, an alternative livelihood program, a system of life insurance, and reliable death benefits.

"The PBC [Philippine Boxing Commission], which shall be directly under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, shall set the policies and proper directions for the development and safety of professional boxers and providing for the welfare of boxers, coaches, trainers, and support to other stakeholders competing for the country," Pacquiao said.

But the benefits will only cover boxers who competed and won in international boxing events sanctioned by the PBC, according to a news release of the House of Representatives.

The bill, dubbed the "Philippine Boxer's Welfare Act of 2013,” will also have safety procedures to protect boxers from physical and financial exploitation.

It also seeks to establish uniform rules and procedures related to boxing.

The measure also seeks to create a system of registration and licensing for boxers, referees, trainers, seconds, or cut-men for boxers, and other personnel necessary for boxing.

It also seeks the power to issue, suspend or revoke permits and licenses, and to impose fees for the issuance of such licenses and permits.

Members of the commission shall be appointed by the President to be headed by a chairman with six members, and a secretariat to be headed by an executive director.

Pacquiao said international Filipino boxing champions risk life and limb in trying to bring honor and glory to country.

"Some met their untimely death in the bout due to the lack, if not absence, of safety and emergency medical services, while some face retirement without any kind of financial assistance or access to medical care. Most often, we hear many of our boxing legends do not have pension benefits," he said.

Under the bill, the functions of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) as well as other entities related to boxing will be transferred to the PBC.

A medical advisory board will be created to assist and advise the commission on issues affecting the safety and health of boxers. These may include medical and physical examinations before any boxing event is undertaken. — LBG, GMA News

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