Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sen. Cayetano recommends the removal of HS to college residency rules; will take legal action if not

Sen. Cayetano recommends the removal of HS to college residency rules
Will take legal action vs UAAP to protect youth
by rick olivares

"You present the athletes with a terrible choice: stay with a school that isn't your first choice, or move to a school that you want, but not play the sport which is your first love." With that statement, Senator Pia Cayetano, Chair Woman of the Committee on Youth, Women, and Family Planning Relations, informed the representatives of the UAAP Board during a public hearing for ‘Proposed amendments to the UAAP Rules and their effects on the youth’ that the rule is “anti-youth and anti-student” and it “curtails many basic rights”.

Cayetano then lowered the boom, "I will call it a spade: the rule protects the institution more than it protects the child." 

The senator then called for the removal of any residency rules for students moving up from high school to college (although the one-year residency from college to college is acceptable).

In a post-hearing statement, Senator Cayetano revealed her plan of action: “I’d like to believe that the UAAP has done a great job through the decades and that they will continue to do. But they need to keep a clear mind about this issue and I will not hesitate to say that I will take legal action also to ensure that the rights of these athletes are protected.”

The public hearing on the proposed amendments to the UAAP’s controversial two-year residency rule saw a host of resource speakers thrash the logic behind it.

At the Sen. Claro M. Recto and Sen. Jose P. Laurel Rooms of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines, Council for the Welfare of Children, Psychological Association of the Philippines, the Department of Education, a few parents of affected student-athletes, as well as myself shared our thoughts and feelings on why the rule is wrong and deconstructive.

The Council for the Welfare of Children said, “We are not amenable to the new rule by the UAAP. The Philippines is a state party to the Convention to the Rights of the Child (CRC) and we are to uphold the best interest of the child which should be the primary consideration in all actions concerning him or her.

As the rationale given involves “investments”, we are concerned that the players affected are treated as commodities that they should bring a return to investment that should enable schools to keep them given this new rule.”

Psychologist Maria Luisa Adviento, Ph.D., of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, wondered why children cannot be a party to the decision-making “especially if it involves their lives”.

Vic Bartolome, who used to officiate in the Philippine Basketball Association, spoke on the plight of his two daughters, Maria Kristina and Anna Dominique “Mikee” Bartolome.

Both came from UST high school with the former a Rookie of the Year in the Juniors Swimming Division who transferred to the University of the Philippines for Season 74 but had to sit it out as per the current UAAP one-year residency rule or “the Soc Rivera Rule”. His youngest daughter, Mikee, was recently the Juniors MVP and is Diliman-bound.

The elder Bartolome explained that it was he as a father who spent for his daughters’ training and not UST. “Sila namili sa UST kung saan sila magaaral. Sila nagbigay ng karangalan sa UST.”

With eldest daughter Maria Kristina in, State U, because of the one-year where she had to red shirt, he had to shoulder the tuition fees incurred during the residency year.

“In UP ang scholarship will take effect when you begin to compete. So for Mikee to sit out two years? Two years ako magbabayad ng tuition fee and I am a mere government employee. Tapos made-deprive si Mike eng chance manalo ng Rookie of the Year Award.”

“Ang gulo na ito ay nagsimula sa basketball at nadamay lang ang mga ibang atleta,” concluded Bartolome. “Kahit sa basketball din, hindi pa rin tama dahil at the end of the day, choice pa rin yan.”

Jerry Pingoy, representing his son, Jerie, the FEU-FERN Baby Tamaraw, whose impending transfer to Ateneo for college sparked this rule told on record that it was his son’s choice to go to the Katipunan Avenue-based school because he wanted to follow the path of his idol, Chris Tiu, and because he liked the way Ateneo recruited his son. “They recruited him first as a person and as a student. Second yung basketball player. Noon pa niya pangarap yun hindi lang siya na-recruit ng Ateneo. Nung mag-back-to-back MVP siya sa ka lang marami nang tumatawag para sa kanya.”

Pingoy also denied rumors of a juicy package to go to Ateneo. “Hindi totoo yun. Very basic lang – dormitory, food and other allowances. Ngayon nagpra-practice siya roon nakikita ko na mas masaya siya.”

“Ang totoo din diyan, yung mga ibang FEU athletes (he cited some names but that was off the record) na nagtulak sa kanya magpunta sa Ateneo.”

Former Ateneo volleyball star Gretchen Ho voiced her feelings about the two-year residency rule in a released statement: “Two years is a long time and it may cause the regression of an athlete’s performance. Seven years in college is also a waste of time. It hampers the growth of the athletes and limits their choices of which school to go to. Our priority should not be on the competitiveness of the sport and the teams but rather on the youth, on education, and the development of good citizens.”

For the UAAP’s side, incoming UAAP President Fr. Maximo D. Rendon, C.M. of Adamson University admitted that he voted for the passage of the rule that takes effect this coming Season 76.

“Part of our school program is to recruit,” said Fr. Rendon. “In high school, we train them so when they get to college, they can easily integrate themselves into the senior varsity team. Unfortunately after high school, some are recruited by other schools including UAAP member schools. The reason why they transfer is they are offered allowances more than what Adamson can offer.”

To which Sen. Cayetano asked, “If the issue is these allowances then look at that issue if yun lang pala yung concern. And that goes into another question if that is the sole reason why they transfer? Because I have spoken to athletes who dream of going to a particular university. It is possible if they would dream first of going to Manila pagdating sa Manila hindi mo mapipigilan na yung isang university ang pangarap niya. Who are we to stop those dreams? We may have invested in this child but how reasonable are these limitations do we place on a dream?”

“Nagsimula to sa mga basketball players na pinagaagawan ng mga universities. Hindi sa minamaliit the importance of the issue. But the problem is they came up with a solution that affects all these athletes who have nothing to do with this issue. So I am really appealing to the board that they find a solution to this.”

“I’d like to think that any responsible organization or institution that’s part of it that they make rules but they are also willing to break the rules that these rules are not the best rules for everyone. If you find out that there are facts that reveal themselves later on that show that these rules are not the best rules for everyone.”

When asked what was her stake her, Cayetano, a former volleyball player for UP and currently, a triathlete, said that first and foremost, “a rule like this affects the youth.”

Second, “It is so personal for me to hear the stories when Rick (Olivares) read the stories and the fathers’ (Jerry Pingoy and Vic Bartolome) too. Many times as a lawyer and as a senator when we speak of rights it’s so vague but when you hear the stories they are not vague. These are real stories about people whose rights have been trampled upon. 

Richard Palou, UAAP Board Member from Ateneo sarcastically said that the two-year residency rule is effective immediately for the upcoming Season 76. With the protests to the rule, the UAAP Board will meet about this next week to take in everything that was discussed during the public hearing and to decide whether to repeal or amend the rule.

My thoughts: 
In my opinion, and as I have written before, a one-ear residency from one college to another is fine regardless whether they come from the UAAP or not. But there should be none from those moving up from high school to college. If it is automatic for one to move up then why are there entrance exams for colleges? As I said during the hearing, “The athletes who are given allowances go straight up (at least those who they desire) then a regular student, one whose parents pay for the tuition – it is not automatic? Dun sa sigurado na kita na kung saan sila kumukuha sa operating fees at sweldo eh ayaw nila agad?”

Furthermore, a cursory check on the student-athletes moving up from one’s school’s high school system to college isn’t much. Schools actively recruit all the time.

There is nothing to amend about this rule. It is stupid and serves to placate one or two schools that were jilted. Maybe they should look into themselves as well. Their treatment of athletes is at best shabby. Here's a message from one HS athlete who is leaving.

During Pingoy’s graduation from high school, while his teammates were given their diplomas, he was given a blank sheet of paper.

One athlete who was recruited from Dumaguete was shipped back home after one year because the coach deemed him of no value. The student is now enrolled in Siliman University where he was able to get a scholarship.

Another athlete upon graduation was told that he cannot get his transcript of records because he had miscellaneous fees to pay for. He was surprised about these fees when he was never told about them before. It turns out that if an athlete wins awards and gives the school due recognition, he is exempted from paying but for those who lose, you have to pay up.

I guess that tells a student-athlete, choosing a school is like choosing a job, you have to do your research about it. Ask around. Ask former athletes what it was like for them. Then ask them, if they had to make a choice all over again, would they make the same one.

Personally, I do hope to see an end to this practice of paying off players; offering them whatnot. It's not good for the game and the school. That is the root of this problem. Sino ba nagsimula nito?

Committee on Youth, Women, and Family Planning Relations
Public Hearing
1 April 2013, Monday, 2:00pm
Sen. Claro M. Recto and Sen. Jose P. Laurel Rooms

Agenda: Proposed amendments to the UAAP Rules and their effects on the youth


Sen. Pia Cayetano
Sen. TG Guingona

Council for the Welfare of Children
Norminia Mojica, Planning Officer
Jaime Tristan Flores, Jr., Planning Officer

Psychological Association of the Philippines
Maria Luisa Adviento, Ph.D., Ateneo de Manila School of Medicine a& Public Health
Reynaldo Nuelito Canlas, Ph.D., De La Salle University

Department of Education
Rev. Fr. Carmelo Caluag, Consultant

Adamson University
Rev. Fr. Maximo D. Rendon, C.M.
Vice President, UAAP Board of Trustees

Ateneo de Manila University
Richard N. Palou, Member, UAAP Board of Trustees
Emmanuel T. Fernandez, Member, UAAP Board of Trustees

National University
Nilo Jose J. Ocampo, President, UAAP Board of Trustees
Edmundo B. Baculi Jr., Secretary-Treasurer, UAAP Board of Trustees

University of the Philippines
Professor Ronaldo U. Dizer, Member, UAAP Board of Trustees

Atty. Rene Ma. M. Villa, UAAP Legal Counsel

State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) – NCR
Philippine Normal University
Professor Lordinio A. Vergara, Director, Center for Sports Development

Jerry Pingoy, father of athlete
Vic Bartolome, father of athlete

Rick Olivares, Blogger and newspaper columnist, Business Mirror &


  1. How come FEU and UST, the main proponents of this rule, did not send representatives to the hearing? Were they too afraid to face the music and own up to their actions?

  2. Natawa naman ako: "Sino ba nagsimula nito?"

    Sino pa? Long before MVP and Sy and Tan...there was already the group of Cojuangco, Razon, et al. Speculative kung speculative, pero marame nagsasabe na yong 'package' ang nag entice kay BJ para mag switch fence. Back in our batch, 2 of our HS classmates went to dlsu because they didn't like UAAP and elected to stay in the NCAA (well, Physics in 4th year was not helpful either lol). As early as the start of that decade, their players were already getting much more than what Ateneo had offered.