THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has put the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC) in Manila and the PhilSports Complex in Pasig City under total lockdown beginning Wednesday until further notice after a PSC employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

In an advisory released on Tuesday night, PSC Chairman William Ramirez confirmed that one of their employees had contracted the highly contagious respiratory disease which they learned from their recent round of RT-PCR testing, forcing the agency to put on lockdown its offices and facilities.

The name of the employee, however, was not disclosed.

Mr. Ramirez said the decision was part of the PSC’s health security protocol to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has 139,538 confirmed cases in the country as of this writing.

The PSC has been very active in the government’s fight against the pandemic, lending its sports facilities in Manila and Pasig, in particular, as venues to accommodate people with COVID-19.

Amid the pandemic, the sports body continues to dispense with its duties albeit with limited work force, putting a premium on the safety of its personnel.

In the advisory, Mr. Ramirez asked for the understanding and cooperation of all concerned and said they intend to reopen the facilities as soon as possible.

RMSC houses the administrative office of the PSC as well as the quarters for national athletes while the PhilSports Complex has the offices of the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee and a number of national sports associations.

Meanwhile, the PSC lauded Southeast Asian Games gold medal-winning surfer Roger Casugay after the latter became the first Filipino to be awarded the Pierre de Coubertin Act of Fair Play Award by the Comité International du Fair-Play (International Fair Play Committee).

Mr. Casugay, 26, was recognized for his act of kindness during last year’s SEA Games where he gave up his ride for gold to save a surfing competitor from Indonesia.  

“We are very proud of Roger because he has truly exemplified the true meaning of being a Filipino and a sportsman. Above all, it is a more fulfilling achievement to be recognized for character than skills and achievements. It shows who we are as people and as a nation,” said Mr. Ramirez in a statement.

The International Surfing Association (ISA), through its Membership and Development Manager Alex Reynolds, informed the United Philippine Surfing Association on Tuesday of Mr. Casugay’s achievement of one of the most prestigious awards in the field of sports, named after the father of the international Olympic movement. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo