March 31, 2023

Professional boxers, mixed martial arts fighters, and Muaythai fighters in the Cordillera will benefit from the partnership between the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and the Department of Health.
GAB Chairman Abraham Mitra announced last week his office and DOH has renewed the memorandum of agreement providing free medical and neurological services for licensed boxers, MMA and Muaythai fighters nationwide.
Under the MOA, licensed contact sports athletes will also be provided with free eye, neurophysio-logical, and laboratory examinations, including CT scan and MRI to ensure they are mentally and physically fit before they are given a license.
Mitra said there will also be free hematoma screening for licensed athletes after GAB purchased screening units.
The MOA started when President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Mitra to head GAB, which is overseeing the conduct of professional contact sports in the country.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DOH, mula kay dating secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial hanggang sa kasalukuyang liderato ni Sec. Francisco Duque, dahil hindi nila kami iniiwan. Napakalaking bagay po ito para sa ating mga boxers at combat sports fighter,” Mitra said.
The hospitals currently covered by the DOH-GAB agreement are the Batangas Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and the Philippine Health Center.
GAB hopes to lobby with DOH for the inclusion of other hospitals in the coverage of the MOA.
The World Boxing Council and the international boxing community congratulated the GAB for pushing for the renewal of the MOA with DOH. 
In 2017, GAB was conferred the WBC Commission of the Year for initiating the MOA with DOH, as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman urged the more than 100 WBC member and affiliated boxing organizations to use as a blueprint model the program of GAB. – Harley F. Palangchao