Contact sports will now be permitted in Puerto Princesa if the barangays where they will be hosted approve organizers’ petitions, according to the city task force against COVID-19.

The decision to allow contact sports in which players may come into physical contact with one another was approved Tuesday by the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) under Resolution No. 71.

“Yong contact sports, kung maaalala po ninyo ay dati nating pinagbabawal under Alert Level 2, ngayon papayagan natin at ang condition lang ay dapat na approve ng barangay kung saan [gaganapin] yong contact sports,” CIATF spokesperson Norman Yap announced in a virtual presser.

Basketball, a high-contact team sport, may already be played on covered courts, according to Yap, as long as the barangay permits.

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Yap disclosed that barangay authorities were forced to remove basketball rings at the peak of the pandemic to discourage residents from playing the sport, which has a high risk of transmitting COVID-19.

“Sa ngayon kasi yong mga covered court ng mga barangay ay walang basketball ring kasi pinatanggal yong mga basketball ring. So, kung papayag yong barangay na mag-conduct ng basketball games, dapat alam ng barangay, papayagan nila, sila ang magbalik ng basketball rings. Yan ay sample ng situation na dapat with prior approval ng barangay,” he said.

Previously, the National IATF permitted contact sports to resume but emphasized the need of adhering to minimum public health standards or MPHS.

Yap said that permitting contact sports in Puerto Princesa means indoor facilities to be utilized to a maximum of 50% of capacity, while outdoor facilities should be occupied to a maximum of 70% of capacity.

“For outdoor venues, only up to 70% capacity regardless of vaccination status. For indoor settings, only up to 50% and only for the fully vaccinated. Unvaxxed minors below 18 may, therefore, participate in outdoor settings but still subject to barangay evaluation and approval,” he told Palawan News in a separate text inquiry.

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has been with Palawan News since January 2019. She is its managing editor, overseeing and coordinating day-to-day editorial activities. Her writing interests are politics and governance, health, defense, investigative journalism, civic journalism, and the environment.