Lawmaker seeks ban on foreign student-athletes
A House leader from a party list group advocating for sporting concerns has filed a measure urging a ban on foreign athletes from taking part in collegiate tournaments in a bid to promote the development of homegrown talent.
Under House Resolution No. 388, Deputy Speaker Michael Romero of 1-Pacman party list asked his colleagues to support a prohibition on collegiate and university leagues from “recruiting, acquiring and using non-Filipino citizens and foreign imports as players.”
Romero, the leader of the party list bloc in the House, said the proliferation of foreign players in such tournaments was impeding the growth and development of local talent.
By adopting the resolution, according to the congressman, “we are sending a clear message to those schools whose athletics programs are suppressing the development of homegrown talents.”
“We want them to stop those practices against Philippine sports,” Romero, a former basketball player at La Salle, said.
He said the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education would be wise to take a much closer look at the athletics programs of the schools under the regulatory domain.
“A limited ban on foreign players in the schools’ athletics programs may be deemed urgently necessary,” he said.
Romero noted that “foreign infusion has become rampant in college basketball and football, with the schools abusing the rules that allow them to admit foreign students.”
“One athlete slot given to a foreign player is one slot denied to a Pinoy player. It is as simple as that,” he said.
“This call is directed at all the schools because they have the duty and responsibility to develop homegrown sports talents,” Romero said.
“There are more than enough obstacles in the path of Filipino athletes, so let us not worsen the problem by blocking the dreams of young athletes, especially in the provinces and among the urban poor,” he said.
Foreign players have been the dominant forces in the NCAA and UAAP the past decade, at least. The NCAA, the country’s oldest collegiate league, will stop using foreign players next year.