MALACANANG has heard the PBA's wishes, but the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would ultimately have the final say. And it would depend on the prevailing situation.
At the very least, the PBA has gotten assurance of help in the league's planned vaccination program.
Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said the government's paramount concern would be the safety of everyone as it tackles PBA's plan to open its new season the soonest possible.
He hinted, though, that the IATF approval on PBA's case would depend on the number of COVID-19 cases in the NCR Plus area.
As chair of both the Senate Committees on Health and Sports, Go was with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea in welcoming PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua in a meeting Wednesday.
"Napag-usapan ang posibleng reopening ng PBA para sa kanilang 46th season. Idadaan pa sa proseso ang kanilang apela para mapag-aralan ng mabuti ng IATF," said Go.
"Depende rin ito sa kung bababa ang bilang ng kaso ng COVID-19, lalo na sa NCR Plus," added Go, a confessed PBA fan.
"Mga 38 years na akong PBA fan, since 1983. Isa rin po ako sa mga uhaw na makapanood muli ng basketball. Ngunit prayoridad po natin ngayon ang kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino, at iyan rin naman ang nais masiguro ng PBA na makapagbukas sila sa paraang ligtas para sa mga manlalaro, coaching staff, team personnel at fans."
But Go committed to help the PBA in its vaccination program, saying the government, in the first place, is to work hand-in-hand with local government units and the private sector to fast-track inoculations to achieve herd immunity.
"Pag-uusapan namin ni Sec. (Carlito) Galvez and request ng PBA team officials na makabili sila ng bakuna para sa kanilang players, coaches at personnel," said Go.
"Suportado naman po natin ito dahil si Pangulong Duterte na mismo ang nagsabi na tulungan ang privadong sector na makakuha ng bakuna para sa mga empleyado nila." (SB)