Bacolod school appeals to DepEd after league adheres to 'outlawed' residency rule

A SCHOOL in Bacolod City has asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to intervene following a decision by the Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports Cultural Educational Association (Nopsscea) to bar two of its players from suiting up this season despite the recent signing into law of the Students-Athletes Protection Act.

In a letter addressed to DepEd Bacolod City School Division Superintendent Cynthia Demavivas, Atty. Gina Mirano-Jesena, legal counsel to Tay Tung High School sports committee vice president Jose Montalbo, has called DepEd's attention to Nopsscea’s decision to declare Nicole Diether Rallos and Jayson Puray ineligible for Season 35 of the league.

Rallos and Puray recently moved from Sun Yat Sen High School in Iloilo City to Tay Tung High School.

Nopsscea rules state that a one-year residency period is needed for high school players transferring from a non-member school.

However, Mirano-Jesena insisted that the rule should no longer apply as it has already been superceded by Republic Act 10676, signed recently by President Aquino, which prevents school leagues from imposing residency requirements for high school athletes transferring to another school.

“The Nopsscea season has already opened this school year and games for basketball have already been scheduled, the first game to be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015. Time is of the essence.

“Thus, we appeal to you, as the body authorized under the law (RA 10676) to regulate and oversee school athletic associations, to resolve the issue to ensure that the rights of student-athletes are respected and protected,” wrote Mirano-Jesena in the letter.

UAAP has decided to allow Ateneo guard Hubert Cani to play for Season 78. Cani, a former National University standout, is covered by UAAP’s two-year residency rule on high school graduates transferring to a different member school.

The UAAP had initially barred Cani from playing but reversed its decision when the bill was signed by Aquino.

[See Hubert Cani finally given the go signal to play for Ateneo in UAAP Season 78]

In an interview by the Visayan Daily Star, Nopsscea sports committee interim manager Roger Banzuela said they are awaiting the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10676 but made it clear they will abide by the law once they receive it.

“As emphasized by Nopsscea president Bob Bergante, until the IRR of the new law comes out, everyone will have to adhere by the Nopsscea rule on residency,” said Banzuela.

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