THE UAAP is set to decide on whether to formally pass, amend, or even repeal the controversial two-year residency period for high school transferees during its annual board meeting on Tuesday.
UAAP officials are tightlipped on the details of the board meeting, refusing to disclose where it will take place. A UAAP official told Spin.ph that a spokesperson will be asked to issue a statement for the league right after Tuesday’s meeting.
The league's decision to increase the residency period of high school transferees from one year to two years has sparked a controversy that reached the Senate where Senator Pia Cayetano, a staunch critic of the rule who had launched an online petition against it, held an inquiry on the matter last April 1.
Outgoing UAAP president Nilo Ocampo of National University had promised, on behalf of the board, that they will take a second look at the new rule which the board had voted to implement, 5-2.
“We have to respect the decision of my peers. Hopefully, they get to see the light and discuss it further. The board will have to act as a collegial body,” said Ocampo.
Ricky Palou, Ateneo’s representative to the UAAP board, said there is still a chance that the league will have a change of heart.
“While the board has passed the rule, puwede rin naman magbago,” said Palou, one of the senior members in the UAAP board, in a previous interview. “The board can also revert back to the old rule.
“There is a plea from Senator Pia Cayetano to do away with this new rule. There are some good reasons, even the parents were talking against it. Maybe we will meet again and come up with something that is better for everybody,” said Palou, whose school, along with University of the Philippines, voted against the new rule.
Palou hinted that he is bracing for a long discussion on the issue.
“The first time we took it up, it lasted for three hours. We will see what happens,” Palou said.
The decision to change the residency rules followed two-time UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy's decision to move from Far Eastern University to Ateneo in college. The board said the move was meant to protect the interest of the mother school of the high school stars
Under the new rule, Pingoy would only be eligible to play for the Blue Eagles in the 2015 season. However, if he had stayed with the Tamaraws, he will be able to play immediately in the coming season.
The contentious rule, however, didn’t stop Pingoy from transferring to Katipunan. In fact, he had already played for the Blue Eagles in the Fr. Martin Cup and was seated on the Ateneo bench during the opener of the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup last Saturday.