HOR COMPLEX, Quezon City (DWDD) – The House committee on higher and technical education has approved House Bill 546 which seeks to require higher education institutions (HEIs) to report participation and program support expenditures in all college athletic programs.
Rep. Mark Aeron H. Sambar (Party-list, PBA) said he filed the bill to encourage college students to participate in regular sports programs, league competitions, amateur sports and other sports activities undertaken by HEIs by making information about the athletic programs and the expenditures of the HEIs available to the public.
Sambar, a vice chairman of the committee on appropriations, said learning institutions should inform prospective students of their athletic programs so that prospective students can make an informed judgment on whether to enroll in the school or not.
Rep. Ann K. Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay), committee chairperson, said during the meeting that House Bill 546 was deliberated extensively during the November 28, 2016 committee meeting.
Hofer said the bill is a re-filed bill which was deliberated by the committee during the 15th Congress without any objection from resource persons from the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC), Coordination Council of Private Education Association or COCOPEA, the Association of Local Colleges and Universities or ALCU and the Commission on Higher Education or CHED.
“Subsequently, the House approved the bill but it remained pending in the Senate,” said Hofer.
Hofer also apprised the committee members that during the previous committee meeting, the ALCU and the National Youth Commission (NYC) submitted their position papers on the bill.
Likewise, in the same meeting, CHED and PASUC manifested their support for the bill. COCOPEA, on the other hand, voiced its opposition to the inclusion of private higher education institutions (PHEIs) in the coverage of the bill, according to Hofer.
Hofer said she asked COCOPEA to submit within five days from the said meeting its position paper where it can fully ventilate its concerns.
“Unfortunately, COCOPEA and PASUC submitted their position paper only today. Nonetheless, we’ll make it part of the records of committee deliberations,” she said.
In the explanatory note of his bill, author Sambar said active participation in sports teaches the youth values such as teamwork, handling challenges and overcoming obstacles.
“Sports will keep our people mentally and physically fit,” said Sambar.
Sambar said the relevant resource persons have already given their views on the bill.
“In line with that, we’ve seen that there is an overwhelming support for HB 546,” said Sambar.
The bill defines program support expenditures as operating, scholarship and other expenditures incurred by the HEI in organizing an athletic team and participating in an athletic team.”
It requires each HEI participating in any athletic program recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and with an intercollegiate athletic program to submit on an annual basis a report to the CHED chairperson on each program.
The report shall contain data on the total number of participants in the athletic program and their gender as well as the ratio of male participants to female participants in the entire athletic program.
It shall include total operating expenses for the sports program and the total scholarship expenditures vis-à-vis the total number of participants.
Likewise, the ratio of male scholarship expenses to female scholarship expenses in the entire athletic program and the total number of contests participated in by the team shall also be included in the report.
There shall also be a report on the gender of the head coach and if he/she is working full-time or part-time; the number of assistant coaches and their gender and if they are working full-time or part-time and the number of graduate assistant coaches and their gender, including the number of volunteer assistant coaches and their gender.
The bill requires the CHED to compile and publish annually the information collected from HEIs, including the athletic conferences recognized by intercollegiate athletic associations and participated by the HEIs.
“Moreover, it requires the CHED to submit the compiled data to Congress on an annual basis.
During the meeting, Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil (2nd District, Pangasinan) sought clarification on the data regarding the ratio of male participants to female participants in the entire athletic program.
Sambar said the ratio just stated how many male athletes and female athletes are in the said sports program.
“The essence of this bill is also data-collective so that we can see how many female athletes and male athletes overall are in HEIs,” Sambar said.
On Bataoil’s question about specific ratio of female athletes to male athletes at the moment, Sambar said there is no data that will accurately tell the participation and the program on sports at the moment.
For his part, CHED Commissioner Alex Brillantes said the agency will ensure that the gender aspect in the implementation of the bill is included.
Other lawmakers present during the hearing were senior vice chairman Rep. Ben Evardone (Lone District, Eastern Samar), vice chairperson Rep. Rosemarie “Baby” Arenas (3rd District, Pangasinan), Reps. Conrado Estrella III (Party-list, Abono), Amado T. Espino Jr. (5th District, Pangasinan), Christopher de Venecia (4th District, Pangasinan), Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (2nd District, Zambales), Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr. (Party-list, AKO BICOL), Peter John D. Calderon (7th, District, Cebu), Gary C. Alejano (Party-list, MAGDALO), Jonas Cortes (6th District, Cebu), Evelina G. Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon), Renato J. Unico, Jr. (1st District, Camarines Norte), Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera (Party-list, MATA), Divine Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur), Carlito S. Marquez (Lone District, Aklan), Edwin C. Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar), Maximo Dalog (Lone District, Mountain Province), Arnulfo Teves, Jr. (3rd District, Negros Oriental) and Sarah Jane Elago (Party-list, KABATAAN). CONGRESS / MCAG