GAB Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra delivers his message at the 17th Gabriel Elorde Memorial Awards at the Manila Hotel. (Photo by BRICO SANTIG)

THE proposed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as one of the requirements for professional boxers will only be made once a year and not during after every fight as earlier reported.

This was clarified by Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra during his speech in the 17th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Boxing Awards held March 25 at the Tent of the Manila Hotel.

“We are studying to impose it once a year. (The) article is wrong na every after fight,” said Mitra.

GAB has been wanting to include MRI but managers are saying it’s too expensive. A MRI will cost to P8,000 to P12,000.

“(But) Now, upon prodding from Sen. Manny Pacquiao in the Senate interpellations, we will have to impose (it) in the near future lest we be accused of reneging in our duties and functions,” said Mitra, a former elected congressman and governor of Palawan.’’

Mitra said GAB’s mandate is the welfare and safety of boxers, not promotion.

“(So) don’t get mad at us if we disapprove mismatches as we are the ones blamed or criticized in the media and not you,” Mitra told managers and promoters.

“We want to provide funds for retired boxers, but budget constraints prevent us from doing so,” said Mitra.

GAB only has an annual budget of P80 and now P100 million.

“It is even smaller than the budgets of small municipalities. And, we have no funds budgeted for promotions or additional prize money,” he said

GAB now does not hold the boxers’ welfare fund for it is now under the Bureau of Treasury.

“Before, yes, the welfare funds were with us, but not anymore. Ever since we took office, the Department of Budget and Management has not released a single peso for our four requests,” bared Mitra.

The list of welfare fund released before was given already to Jun Sareal and Dante Almario chairman and president respectively of the Philippine Boxing Promoters and Managers Association.

It was also posted already in the website and Facebook page of the GAB.

Mitra also clarified that GAB only supervises 13 sports and not 22 as earlier reported.

“We supervise other minimum activities from twice to five times a year. Most of the time and resources are allotted to boxing, as well as 46 of the 150 employees,” he said.

As to basketball, GAB exercise oversight only since there is the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) already.

“We are doing almost only licensing,” Mitra said.

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