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New law scraps UAAP's 2-year residency rule, bans huge bonuses

Jerie Pingoy transferred from FEU-FERN to Ateneo. Joey Mendoza Jr.

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III signed the law that protects student-athletes by regulating the residency requirement of school leagues.

Aquino signed Republic Act 10676 or the Student-Athletes Protection Act on August 26, according to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

The new law scraps the two-year residency rule of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines applied to high school student-athletes transferring to another school for college.

Under the new law, student athletic associations shall not impose residency requirements on a student-athlete who is a high school graduate enrolling in a college or university.

There shall also be no residency requirement imposed on high school student-athletes transferring from one high school to another high school.

However, to address the issue of piracy, a maximum of one year residency may be imposed by an athletic association on high school student-athletes transferring from one member school to another.

For tertiary student-athletes, a maximum of one year residency may be imposed by an athletic association before a student-athlete could participate and represent a school in any athletic competition.

Apart from the UAAP, the law also covers the Private Schools Athletic Association, National College Athletic Association of the Philippines, Women’s National Collegiate Athletic Association, State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association, Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc., National Capital Regional Athletic Association, Association of Local Colleges and Universities Athletic Association, and National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, among others.

Sen. Pia Cayetano was the main proponent of the bill, which was aimed at discouraging student-athletes from receiving excessive perks.

Section 5 of the new law states that schools may only grant the following:

  • tuition and miscellaneous school fees, including books and learning materials;
  • full board and lodging;
  • school and athletic uniforms;
  • regular monthly allowance;
  • medical services,
  • other reasonable and similar benefits that would enhance the academic and athletic performance of student-athletes.

To prevent the commercialization of student-athletes, Section 6 states that "schools shall not offer a student-athlete or the immediate family members benefits or incentives beyond those enumerated under Section 5 of this Act which are contrary to the nature of amateur sports and which may result in the commercialization of a student-athlete."

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