Cayetano cautions vs student-athlete training during COVID-19 pandemic

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2020 09:56 PM | Updated as of Sep 21 2020 09:57 PM

Sen. Pia Cayetano emerges from a caucus with other senators during a special session on March 23, 2020. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/file

MANILA - Sen. Pia Cayetano on Monday cautioned universities against resuming training programs for student-athletes, saying schools may not afford the "bubble set-up" being done in professional leagues.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) earlier rented facilities in Tarlac and Pampanga to create a training and tournament "bubble" to ensure that players would not be infected with COVID-19 when the league resumes next month.

"I have very strong reservations about the resumption of training [for student-athletes] unless universities can put funding required to ensure their safety," Cayetano said during the budget hearing of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the Senate.

"The money the PBA and the National Team is pouring in to secure the safety and maintain players in a bubble is not something that public and private universities are willing to spend," she said, without mentioning the amount.

Cayetano urged the CHED to ensure that higher education institutions would "proceed with caution" and "consider the safety of athletes and students" before resuming training.

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) earlier said it is eyeing to a "have a full calendar" for 2021.

But the collegiate sports organization also recommended sanctions against former University of Sto. Tomas coach Aldrin Ayo for his role in the controversial basketball training camp held in his hometown Sorsogon.