MANILA – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) rescheduled its first General Assembly (GA) from Jan. 12 to 26 because of the sudden surge in Covid-19 infections and the threat of Omicron variant.

POC president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said on Friday the body does not want to risk its members and officials from the spike in infections that were recorded after the holidays. The hybrid GA was scheduled at the Grandmaster Hotel in Tagaytay City.

The postponement, Tolentino said, deferred the GA’s ratification of the recommendations of the POC Ethics Committee topped by the declaration of Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Philip Ella Juico as persona non grata.

“We just cannot risk everybody’s health and although we have a stacked agenda to start the year, we have to heed protocols,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino said the stacked agenda includes updates and finalization of tasks on the Winter Olympics which start on February 4 and the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games in May and the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in September.

“The Paris Olympics are just already only two years away but we’re putting priority on the Games,” Tolentino said.

Tolentino added that the GA will also be provided with updates on the POC’s financial aid program on athletes and coaches who were severely affected by Typhoon Odette. (PR)