MANILA, Philippines -- Colegio de San Juan de Letran is not the only NCAA school that has to downsize its athletic operations because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Arellano University is also making cuts to its athletic department, according to Peter Cayco.
"Napag-desisyunan na we will cut down our events," Cayco told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview on Tuesday. "Siguro, we'll take out mga three or four events."
It was reported last week that Letran will make "significant cuts in budgetary allocations to the Athletics Office." According to a letter sent by Letran president Rev. Fr. Clarence Marquez, OP to Rev. Fr. Victor Calvo, the university will limit its scholarships to 372 student-athletes, and they will withdraw their participation in several NCAA sports -- including volleyball, swimming, and track and field.
Cayco said Arellano has yet to decide which sports they will cut, but he assured that they will support the student-athletes who will be affected.
"'Yung mga matatanggal na events, I think the school will still give them scholarships," he said.
"Ang problema lang, wala na kayong quarters saka meal allowance. Wala na 'yun," he added.
It's not just Arellano and Letran that will be making cuts to their athletic departments.
"All schools, magdo-downsize ng athletic programs," said Cayco, who further stressed that the athletic programs are the "last priority" for the universities at the moment.
Cayco, who is also the chairman of the NCAA Management Committee, said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a point that it is unlikely that all member-schools will participate in the league's 96th season, if and when it starts.
"Ilan ang magpa-participate, ilang schools ang may kaya? Hindi rin natin alam kasi hardest-hit ang schools. Tinamaan sila ng todo," he said.
"May isang school pa na nakikiusap, basketball na lang daw ang ituloy," he added. "Ang suggestion ko sa kanila, we name four events. Kung hindi mo kaya, then mag-leave ka muna sa ibang events."
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).