‘Rizal’, PhilSports on lockdown

August 12, 2020

FIVE employees of the Philippine Sports Commission have tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the government agency in charge of sports to put the old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and PhilSports Complex in Pasig City under total lockdown.

The announcement was made yesterday by PSC chairman William “Butch" Ramirez , who immediately ordered the closure of the two huge sports facilities starting yesterday "until further notice".

“May we humbly advice all concerned that both complexes shall be on complete lockdown from August 12 until further notice,” said Ramirez in a letter signed Tuesday but was posted on their official Facebook page Wednesday.

“This is part of the agency’s health security protocol, after a staff tested COVID-19 positive in the recent round of RT-PCR testing,” he added.

There were reports also that a construction worker  doing renovation at the swimming facility inside the decades-old Rizal complex was also found to have contracted the deadly virus that has been the sporting world since the early days of March.

Ramirez did not name the employees involved but multiple sources revealed all of them were asymptomatic and sent home and will be quarantined.

Acting executive director Guillermo Iroy said the lockdown meant all their employees will have to work from home temporarily while they are doing contact tracing.

According to Iroy, only frontliners and security are allowed to enter, adding: “even  skeletal employees assigned will have to work from home since we’re still doing tracing,” said Iroy.

It also meant those staying in the dorms will not be allowed to go out.

Ramirez stays at the Philsports, along with with wife Mercy, daughter Farrah, son-in-law Michael and grandson Liam.

Also quarantined in the Pasig dorms are commissioners Ramon Fernandez with wife Karla and Charles Raymond Maxey.

The agency had been doing regular tests for the skeletal staff assigned during the pandemic but it is only now that some came out positive.

Iroy also acknowledged the efforts of the NSAs including the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI), Philippine Table Tennis Federation (PTTF), Pilipinas Sepak Takraw Association Inc, among others, who extended support to the agency by donating face masks, face shields, and other supplies, to help the agency's frontliners and stranded athletes and coaches.

“Our NSAs have been very helpful this pandemic. We all just want to lift each other and help each other get through this pandemic” said Iroy.