The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Butch Ramirez told the media that there could be no sporting events held in the Philippines until there is a vaccine for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The PSC also announced that they would suspend all sports and events funded by the PSC for the remainder of 2020. Other sporting leagues, such as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and UAAP, were urged to follow the guidelines provided by the government.
The Philippine government has cut funding for the PSC and other government-sponsored programs to focus all their efforts on fighting the Coronavirus. Before the government announced that they were cutting funding, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that they lost 50% of revenue in the first quarter when compared to last year. PAGCOR is ordered by law to give the PSC 5% of their gross income to support events and national players.
On April 2nd, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a stay-at-home order to Filipinos on the Luzon island in an attempt to curve the spread of the Coronavirus. Some citizens in Manila and the surrounding areas protested due to lack of supplies and having not received food packs for over two weeks. After protests erupted, President Duterte told the Police and Army to shoot anyone who defies the stay at home order.
It is currently unknown if sports or betting on Philippine sporting events will resume in 2020. There are many corporations around the globe, developing a vaccine for COVID-19, but tests must be thoroughly scrutinized before any vaccine is released to the public.
Despite sports and domestic sportsbooks shutting down during quarantine, there are still several legal betting options for Filipinos. Some other popular sportsbook options include betting on esports, horse racing, and simulations. While those options have been on the table for a good minute, they have not been greatly affected by the Coronavirus.
The Coronavirus has already infected 9,684 Filipinos and caused 637 deaths, with most of the cases concentrated in populated areas. President Duterte ordered the largest broadcaster off air as the country continues the fight against the virus.