The Department of Health (DOH) today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) that will continue to ensure the overall health and welfare of professional Filipino boxers and mixed martial artists by providing free diagnostic, medical, and neurological services.

Under the said MOA, the GAB as the regulatory agency that oversees the conduct of professional boxing and other contact sports in the country, requires applicants to undergo and pass a complete medical examination administered by a GAB physician or by a GAB-licensed physician prior to approval or renewal of their respective licenses.

The DOH, on the other hand, shall provide free medical examinations by DOH physicians, eye examinations, neurological examinations, neurophysiological examinations every three (3) years and various laboratory diagnostic examinations, including CT Scan or MRI to ensure the health of our professional boxers and mixed martial artist.

Considering that the required series of medical examinations is costly for the applicant boxers, GAB and other sports stakeholders requested the DOH to provide such examinations to professional boxers through its hospitals and medical centers for free.

In 2017, the DOH and GAB entered into a MOA where the DOH issued Administrative Order No. 2017-0020 in October 2017 outlining the implementing guidelines of the DOH-GAB MOA. After implementing it for one year, both parties convened the participating health facilities to conduct an assessment which resulted to overall positive feedback, and recommended the continuation of the MOA with a minimum validity period of two (2) years.

Some of the participating DOH hospitals for this MOA were the Batangas Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center and the Philippine Heart Center.

“Today, as we sign the continuation of the foregoing agreement with Games and Amusement Board, it is encouraging to note that we were able to execute this MOA successfully through the support of our hospitals. Furthermore, we affirm the DOH’s ongoing support to all our professional Filipino boxers and mixed martial artists who always strive to bring pride and honor for our country,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III concluded.