The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) will lead the way in setting up the return of collegiate sports teams to practice amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
In an online press conference yesterday, CHED chairman Prospero de Vera said a technical working group (TWG) will be put up along with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Department of Health to craft the training guidelines, which will be primarily based on the joint administrative order for professional sports practices.
“The decision to put up the TWG is a result of a meeting that we had last week with the PSC, GAB (Games and Amusements Board), and the Department of Health last week and my meeting this morning with Dean Kiko Diaz of the UP (University of the Philippines) College of Human Kinetics and Coach Eric Altamirano,” De Vera said.
De Vera said the guidelines will be first implemented in “a smaller group”, likely the major collegiate leagues like the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and the Cebu Schools Athletic Federation Inc. and will eventually expand to the other collegiate leagues.
In a statement later, the UAAP revealed that it will have three representatives to the TWG namely Diaz, who also leads the league’s committee on sports and rules, Executive Director Rebo Saguisag, and Far Eastern University athletic director Mark Molina, who is also part of the aforementioned committee.
On the other hand, the NCAA is set to have Jose Rizal University’s Paul Supan and Lyceum’s Herc Callanta as its representatives to the TWG.
CHED executive director Cindy Jaro will head the TWG.
“We will target a working timeline of about two weeks and maybe a maximum of three weeks,” De Vera said.
“You have to be a little bit patient with the timeline because there are two major challenges that we have to face. Number one is there are many leagues all over the country, so we have to cascade and get them involved, and number two, there are different sports they play in all the leagues,”he added.
Malacañang yesterday said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) allowed preparatory training of student athletes in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ (MGCQ).
“Student athletes of collegiate athletic associations as defined under Republic Act No. 10676 or the Student-Athletes Protection Act shall be allowed to resume their preparatory trainings in areas under General Community Quarantine and Modified General Community Quarantine, subject to the guidelines as may be issued by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED),” IATF resolution no. 68 read.*PNA