MANILA, Philippines—The new residency rule of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is favoring the universities instead of the students, Senator Pia Cayetano said Monday during a Senate hearing.
“The rule is meant more to protect the institution, than the students,” Cayetano said at the end of the more than two-hour hearing that was attended by members of the UAAP board, a few parents of affected students, and sports psychologists.
The UAAP rule requires students graduating from a UAAP high school to sit out two years in the UAAP league when entering a different UAAP college.
“Of course it is the ambition of a college to became champion, that’s the pride of any school and I am not belittling their right to do that, but let us not forget the right of every individual child, student, and athlete [to compete]” Cayetano said in an interview after the hearing.
Cayetano, who said that the issue was personal to her being a former volleyball player during her college years, also pointed out during the hearing that the student-athlete’s peak performance in sports could pass because of being made to sit out of competition.
She also said that this rule was primarily made because universities kept fighting over the best talents in basketball so they can become champions but it was also affecting other sports in the UAAP such as swimming.
She said that she would make a formal recommendation to the UAAP board for the residency rule to be repealed to bring it back to just one year.
Cayetano said that many students already have a lot of struggles to cope with such as family and financial problems.
The UAAP board will be meeting again on April 16. Cayetano expressed hope that the rule would be repealed in that meeting.