Miriam bill seeks protection for athletes

By Marvin Sy, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 04 2012 01:10 PM | Updated as of Nov 05 2012 04:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would entitle varsity players to health and safety protection and scholarship for up to five academic years after they have incurred serious or career-threatening injuries.

"Providing adequate and safety protection for student athletes can help prevent serious injury and death. Current and former student athletes can’t be left to pay for medical expenses incurred from injuries suffered while participating in intercollegiate athletics," said Santiago, author of Senate Bill 3291.

"Institutions of higher education should provide their student athletes with the same due process protection afforded to students who do not participate in athletics," she added.

Under the bill, student athletes who suffer from an incapacitating injury or illness that would prevent them from further participating in intercollegiate athletics should still be provided with an athletic scholarship or its equivalent, combined with the total duration of any previous scholarships received, for a total of up to five academic years or until they graduate.

The bill also requires an athletic program to adopt and implement exercise and supervision guidelines for any student athlete identified with potentially life-threatening health conditions.

"This bill seeks to protect student athletes. If we are serious about a national sports program, we should start with measures that safeguard the welfare of our youth," Santiago said.