The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is in the process of forming a technical working group (TWG) that will collectively craft the guidelines for the return of college student-athletes to practice.
CHED chair Prospero De Vera said that it will be composed of CHED, the Games and Amusement Board, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health, and representatives of collegiate leagues.
“We will start with a smaller group of leagues involving schools so that we have a manageable number to start the TWG. And after starting with the smaller group, we will expand the consultation to cover the other leagues being participated in by schools all over the country,” De Vera said in an online press conference, Monday afternoon.
“I was told that there were many Manila-based leagues and many provincial leagues that have been organized over the past years. I have a list but it’s rather long so we will cascade the discussions with them.”
The guidelines to be drafted by the TWG — to be headed by CHED executive director Cindy Jaro — is based on the PSC-GAB-DOH Joint Administrative Order for the pro leagues’ return to practice.
“The mandate of the Games and Amusements Board is looking after the welfare of our professional athletes. But we were lured into this group by the IATF to synergize and align our training and games with that of the PSC and DOH… We are willing to work with the group in the drafting of the guidelines,” GAB chairman Baham Mitra expressed.
“Dati, ang JAO limits training for only pro sports. Ang CHED is not part of JAO because we don’t deal with pro sports. We got into the picture because of violations that included athletes who are students under CHED,” said De Vera on the other hand, referring to the alleged quarantine violations committed by University of Santo Tomas and National University.
Varsity teams can begin planning their return to practice following the Inter-Agency Task Force’s (IATF) approval Monday, but student-athletes cannot start yet as they still have to wait for the guidelines.
Now, De Vera hopes that they can convene the TWG by next week so that they can begin the crafting of the guidelines, which he plans to accomplish within two to three weeks.
“We intend to start the TWG hopefully by next week. We’re putting a timetable of about two weeks to complete this,” he said.
“Pinakamatagal na ‘yung tatlong linggo.”