September 29, 2023

After a year of lobbying, professional boxers and other combative sports athletes in the Cordillera who were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic received financial aid from the government.
Benguet-based Highland Boxing Promotion top honcho Brico Santig said 19 of his wards received financial assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera and the Office of Sen. Bong Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health. 
Santig said 77 professional athletes, trainers, and matchmakers in combative sports listed by the Games and Amusement Board received P3,000 financial aid along with meals, food packs, vitamins, and face masks and shields.
His wards who benefited from the financial aid are Je-remy Bastian, Randy Bullong, Nathan Bolcio, Rosendo Autida, France Louie Jorda, Alan Alegria, Dennis Padua, Jujeath Nagaowa, Benjamin Bartolome, Junel Miranda, former world title challenger Jelbirt Gomera, Jayvee Alifio, John Michael Uduna, Rex Wa-o, Darinton Colas, Alejandro Anas, and former world titlist Dayer Gabutan.
Santig’s brother, Ericson, who aids him in promotion activities, was also among the beneficiaries.
GAB President Baham Mitra wrote to the DSWD and Department of Labor and Employment in April last year to help professional boxers and other prizefighters after sports events were cancelled due to the Covid-19.
Only few fighters were given relief and most of the Baguio and Benguet-based athletes were left out from the Social Amelioration Program.
The pandemic has caused many prizefighters to look for alternative means to support their families with some of them working as vegetable porters at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post to sustain their needs.
“These professional boxers needed to find other jobs to support their families because it is still hard to mount fight fights with our current health situation,” Santig said. – Ofelia C. Empian