The guidelines paving the way for student-athletes to train physically at the collegiate level are out.
But universities and colleges remain hesitant to undergo face-to-face training activities.
Officials of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and the National Collegiate Athletic Association expressed their apprehension after proposed rules and regulations were finally crafted by a technical working group formed by the Commission on Higher Education.
For now, virtual training for student-athletes in the NCAA will do, according to Dr. Hercules Callanta, sports director of Lyceum Philippines University in a virtual Zoom meet with officials of the CHED.
“We are encouraging our schools to start their training, if they are able to confirm the requirements to the school,” said Callanta.
On the other hand, some member schools in the UAAP are also into virtual training sessions, still hesitant to go into isolated training sessions and will need to review the documentary requirements.
UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag said this after getting a look at the proposals that have been forwarded to the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases.
“Hindi porke pinayagan kami ay sasali kami. And some schools are having reservations,” said Saguisag.
Also present during the online meeting were Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, Games and Amusement Board chairman Abraham Mitra and CHED executive director and Technical Working Group head Cindy Jaro, with National Training Director Marc Velasco of the PSC.
Under the proposal submitted by the TWG, activities must be done within three weeks of approval from the IATF and should take place under a bubble, limited to just 14 days. An age restriction of 15 years old and above is also set for the “bubble” training, to be organized by each member school.
The isolated facilities where the “bubble” will be put up can be inside the schools’ respective campuses if their location is under General Community Quarantine or Modified General Community Quarantine.
For a bubble to be put up, each varsity team, not just the school, is required to first submit a Collegiate Training Activities’ Certificate of Compliance, with the recommendations of both the school’s athletic director and school president.
CHED chairman Prospero de Vera said that with the guidelines out, competitive activities from among the many leagues will soon be possible.
“Now, if we do a good job in implementing this with the protocols, the next logical step would be to think of the opening of sports competitions,” said De Vera.
But league officials in the NCAA said competitions for them will only happen some three or four months after a “new normal” situation is established, and a coronavirus vaccine is already available and distributed.
UAAP officials said their schedule of opening for competitions are still up in their air, given the present situation.