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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

House tackles “Magna Carta of Student-Athletes”
20 March 2017 04:41:39 PM

The House committee on youth and sports development chaired by Rep. Conrado Estrella III (Party-list, ABONO) recently named Rep. Cristina "Chiqui" Roa-Puno (1st District, Antipolo City) as head of a technical working group (TWG) that will fine-tune House Bill 583 or the proposed “Magna Carta of Student-Athletes” which seeks to promote the welfare of student-athletes.

The bill is authored by Deputy Speaker and Taguig City-Pateros Second District Rep. Pia Cayetano who said she and her staff originally drafted the “Magna Carta of Student- Athletes” when she was still a member of the Senate.

Cayetano said as a bill of rights for student-athletes, the magna carta shall endeavor to address issues and concerns encountered for many years by many student-athletes, past and present, as there is no existing law that promotes and protects their overall welfare.

“The intention of the bill is to raise awareness among all stakeholders in the educational institutions of what these students go through and what they bring to their schools in terms of honor and prestige. Yet, it must always be emphasized that they are students and not just athletes,” said Cayetano.

The bill also aims to provide appropriate recognition and protection to the rights and general welfare of student-athletes encompassing academic, amateur sports, and mental and physical aspects.

It also recognizes that student-athletes should be protected from discriminatory policies that may restrict their participation in any field of amateur sports which they have chosen to join and compete in and consequently hinder the development their full potential as athletes and well-rounded citizens of the country.

Cayetano said the bill recognizes the vital role of the schools and accredited athletic associations not only in providing the opportunity and avenue for student-athletes to join and excel in sports, but also in ensuring the protection of student-athletes from physical harm, discrimination, and other potentially-harmful consequences of training and competing in their respective fields of amateur sports.

Cynthia Hernandez, supervising education program specialist of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), said the intent of the bill is laudable. She proposed that Republic Act 10676or the Student-Athletes Protection Act, which has the same intent as that of the bill, be revisited or reviewed.

Relatedly, Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo (1st District, Lanao del Norte) said that despite the passage of RA 10676 in 2014, its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) have not yet been promulgated.

The panel then asked the CHED and the Department of Education (DepEd), in consultation with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), to draw up the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA10676. / ICY JR