Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) First Vice President Al Panlilio has formed a working group as his first action after POC President Rep. Bambol Tolentino tasked him to lead the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for national athletes ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Panlilio, the president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), has appointed Dr. George Canlas, Atty. Billy Sumagui, Bones Floro, and Dinah Remolacio of the POC to the working group.
“I’ve already assembled a group to help me with this task,” said Panlilio in a statement Wednesday, April 7. “So to our athletes, we hope you’re safe and healthy wherever you are right now.”
“The vaccines will be on the way soon.”
Panlilio, also the head of the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF), included Os Dela Paz, the current Chief Procurement Officer of PLDT.
The budget for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines would come from a $40,000 subsidy from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), which the POC will look to procure as a private entity.
Athletes bound for the Tokyo Olympics will get inoculated a few months before the Games through the initiatives of businessman Enrique Razon. This is the reason why the POC is also looking at athletes to get their vaccine for the SEA Games.
The Tokyo Olympics is set July 23 to Aug. 8, while the Vietnam SEA Games is scheduled Nov. 21 to Dec. 2.
Panlilio said he appreciates the trust and confidence of Tolentino by giving him this important task.
“I’d like to express my gratitude, on behalf of all national athletes, to the Olympic Solidarity and Association of National Olympic Committees through the Olympic Council of Asia for their generosity and POC President Bambol Tolentino entrusting me to be the Chairman for the POC’s Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccine Procurement,” said Panlilio.
“The POC understands how important it is to inoculate our national athletes – not just for their physical well-being but psychologically as well.”
“Getting this done at the soonest possible time will allow them to solely focus on their preparations,” added Panlilio.
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