A TOP UAAP official said the new two-year residency rule will help curb player poaching while recruitment practices remain uncontrolled due to disparities in school funding.
Incoming UAAP president Fr. Max Rendon of Adamson defended the league’s decision to implement the new rule increasing the residency period for high school transferees from one to two years, saying several schools simply couldn’t match what bigger schools are offering to top prospects in terms of allowances.
“Unfortunately, after graduating from high school, some of them are recruited by other schools including UAAP member schools and the reason why they transfer is they are offered bigger allowances, more than what Adamson could offer,” Rendon said during the Senate inquiry called by Senator Pia Cayetano on Monday.
Rendon, the only board member present in the hearing from among those who voted for the implementation of the controversial residency rule, will be the league’s chief when Adamson hosts Season 76 of the country's premier college league.
Adamson voted for the implementation of the new rule along with four other UAAP schools, while Ateneo and University of the Philippines voted against it. Last season's host, National University, abstained.
Rendon said the new rule will help Adamson keep high school players, several of whom were recruited from the provinces, when they move up to the college game.
“This will prevent our players from transferring and it will enhance the sports development program of the university,” Rendon said without going into details.
“Part of our sports program is to recruit some of our players from the provinces. And in high school, we train them so that they can easily integrate themselves with the senior varsity team,” said Rendon.
With the revelations made by Rendon, Cayetano said more Senate hearings may be necessary to dig deeper into the problems that prompted the UAAP to impose the new residency rules.
"Nanganganak yung mga problema … di ba yung mga... may cap ba yang allowances nila? ... So there may be a need for future hearings on that," the lady senator said.
Cayetano, however, stressed that imposing a two-year residency period was not the answer to the problem.
“Look at the issue of allowances. I don’t believe two-year (residency) should be the solution if that (allowance) is the concern. Is that the sole reason for transferring?” she said.