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Trinidad vows to protect athletes

Broadcaster Manolo Trinidad promises to protect the welfare of professional athletes should he be appointed as chairperson of the Games and Amusement Board.

Trinidad, 55, said he wants to establish a trust fund to ensure the financial security not just of former professional boxers, cue artists, and jockeys but basketball players as well.

Actually, there is already a pending bill in the Senate that aims to come up with a welfare fund for professional athletes.

In Section 23 of the proposed House Bill 3867, or an Act Strengthening the Games and Amusement Board for Other Purposes, it states that the Athletes’ Welfare Fund must be established “to develop a program for immediate financial and medical assistance to deserving indigent athletes suffering from injuries and emergencies related to their profession.”

Trinidad said he wants to push for that proposal if and when he bags the top GAB post that was vacated by Baham Mitra last June.

“There is a good bill that was passed in Congress back during the time of Baham Mitra,” Trinidad said in a telephone interview.

“This is better because this is an act to further strengthen the Games and Amusement Board. The proposal is to expand the Boxers Welfare Fund to include other professional sports to become the Professional Sports Trust Fund.”

“I’m not promising anything at the moment because we need to see where the bill about the trust fund is coming from.”

His proposal drew praise from the community of retired professional cagers.

In a video message, Philippine Basketball Association legend Fortunato “Atoy” Co rallied behind Trinidad, saying that he is keeping his fingers crossed over his looming appointment.

Aside from Co, other retired athletes who threw their all-out support to the former Philippine Basketball League commissioner and sports broadcaster are billiards great Efren “Bata” Reyes, bowling legend Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno, and chess idol Eugene Torre.

“We heard that Mr. Chino Trinidad is one of the candidates to be picked by the Games and Amusement Board,” said Co, the former Crispa star who is now the chairperson of the PBA Legends Foundation.

“We at the PBA Legends Foundations are strongly recommending him to be picked as we believe his goals and ambitions are for the welfare of the athletes.”

“We endorse him 100 percent.”

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