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PBA will still hold 2 conferences despite delay in vaccination vs COVID

COM. WILLIE MARCIAL

By JONAS TERRADO

The PBA’s plan to have its teams and staff vaccinated remains far from clarity even if the government is allowing private entities like the pro league to purchase on their own.

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said there are no new developments with regards to the vaccination program which could help a big way in having the league push through with its 46th season without the worry of dealing with health and safety issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marcial added that private companies like the PBA will still have to go through the government in order to secure the vaccines.

Malacanang announced last March 23 that all private entities must enter into a tripartite agreement which involves the government and a pharmaceutical company in order to purchase vaccines.

A provision in the tripartite deal also calls for the companies to donate half of the vaccines purchased to be donated.

The PBA did enter a tie-up with the Philippine Red Cross in late-January to help the league purchase vaccines not only for the players, but possibly their families.

The league said at the time the partnership was revealed that the Red Cross plans to purchase vaccines from AstraZeneca and Moderna.

Manny V. Pangilinan, who owns TNT, Meralco and NLEX, also made a commitment to provide doses of AstraZeneca for players and league employees.

But without the vaccines, the PBA will have to wait for the current COVID-19 situation to improve until it can come out with a plan to open the season.

Cases made a big jump over the past weeks, forcing the government to implement Enhanced Community Quarantine regulation on NCR+.

That prompted the stoppage of practices among teams while further delaying plans to open the season.

But Marcial at this point insists that the season can still stage two conferences despite the recent setbacks.

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