Universities and colleges could soon be required to be transparent on student athletes’ perks, or the lack of it.
This developed after the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education approved House Bill 546, which obligates higher education institutions (HEIs) to report their expenditures in all college athletic programs.
The bill, authored by Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar of PBA party-list, requires the HEIs to report their total operating expenses for the sports program and scholarship expenditures vis-à-vis the total number of participants.
“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 otherwise,” Sambar, one of the authors of the mea- sure, explained.
Rep. Ann Hofer of Zamboanga Sibugay, Chairperson of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, added that the measure has gained the support of Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.
Under the existing Student-Athlete Protection law passed in 2015, HEIs can grant the following benefits to student athletes: tuition and miscellaneous school fees including books and other learning materials, full board and lodging, school and athletic uniforms including supplies and equipment paraphernalia and a reasonable regular monthly living allowance.
The amount of reasonable regular monthly living allowance, however, was not specified in the law.
In a Fox Sports Philippines report dated November 26, it was revealed that members of the National University High School’s Women’s Volleyball team received a monthly allowance of P1,500—a far cry from the “allowance” received by their rivals from UST High School who only get P150 “allowance” per game.
Other allowed benefits for the athlete under the existing law include medical examinations and consultations, emergency medical services as well as life and medical insurance that would further enhance the academic and athletic performance of the student-athlete.