Several Athletic Directors See Gaps in Senate Bill No. 2226
Last week, Senators Pia Cayetano alongside Cynthia Villar and Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed Senate Bill No. 2226 or an "Act protecting the amateur nature of student-athletes in the Philippines by regulating the residency requirement and prohibiting the commercialization of student-athletes."
Anthony Carlo Agustin, Athletic Director of West Negros University, said that though he is in favor of the provision which states that no residency requirement shall be imposed on a high school student-athlete transferring to another high school or to a college or university but, unconvinced with the section which stressed that it only allows schools to give deserving student-athletes tuition, board, and lodging; uniform and equipment; as well as reasonable living allowance, while prohibits schools from offering student-athlete or his immediate family members the benefits or incentives beyond that enumerated under Section 7.
"How can this proposed law justifies or prove that schools have already violated such provisions? What is the allowed form of board and lodging for student-athletes and what is the limit of so-called reasonable living allowance? And, finally, how can this law determine if immediate family members of athletes got offers [beyond the required benefits or incentives] from huge schools?" Agustin questioned.
"Not until these things will be addressed, this proposed law will turn useless. Moreover, they also have to consult the schools and stakeholders to hear comments on this bill," he added.
For many years, provincial-based schools are clamoring for a law to protect them from massive piracy by bigger schools in capital cities and in the National Capital Region.
Recently, few basketball talents from Bacolod and Negros Occidental were recruited and given luxurious offers by bigger schools in Manila and Cebu thus, leaving the province to rely on what remains on its backyard.*