SENATOR Pia Cayetano said 13 of her colleagues are supporting Senate Bill No. 2226 or the Student-Athletes Protection Act.
Cayetano said all 13 signed Committee Report 29, which means the bill that seeks to prohibit residency rules and the commercialization of collegiate leagues, will now be up for discussion in the plenary.
According to a statement issued by Cayetano’s office, those who signed the bill were Senators Sonny Angara, Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Francis Escudero, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Aquilino Pimintel III, and JV Ejercito.
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, and Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile have also issued their support for the bill.
After the plenary, the bill will be up for interpellation and amendment before the ‘Student-Athletes Protection Act’ is passed on second reading.
Senate Bill 2226 was the result of hearings, consultations, and meetings on Cayetano’s SBN 2166 or the Magna Carta of Student-Athletes, and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s SBN 1252, which seeks to regulate conduct of sports agents with student-athletes.
The bill was drafted amid an uproar over the controversial UAAP residency rule where high school graduates moving to a different member university were forced to sit out for two years before being able to play in the league.
In her speech last Monday, Cayetano, who was critical of the UAAP residency rule, expressed the need for the bill to be enacted into law.
“Athletes thrive during competition. And to deprive an athlete of this, to bench them for a significant period, could be damaging to their physical development as well as their emotional and mental state,” said Cayetano.
“It is my simple desire that the student-athletes get what they deserve: The opportunity to study and play in the school of their choice,” she said.
“By doing nothing, these deplorable incidents stand to be repeated, again and again, under the continued enforcement by various athletic associations of the so-called residency rules.”
One of those affected by the rule is swimmer Mikee Bartolome, who had to undergo a two-year residency following her transfer from University of Santo Tomas to University of the Philippines.
Former Far Eastern University juniors star Jerie Pingoy is currently spending his second year of residency with the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
“Aside from Mikee, there are other athletes who are suffering because of these residency rule. We should be outraged by the traumatic experiences that these student-athletes have to go through,” Cayetano added.