MANILA, Philippines – House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero of 1Pacman Party list on Monday filed a bill seeking a ban on foreign student-athletes in college leagues in the Philippines.
House Resolution No. 388 seeks "to stop and prohibit all collegiate leagues from recruiting, acquiring and using non-Filipino citizens and foreign imports as players."
This, as foreign student-athletes are "stopping the growth and development of 'homegrown Filipino players' and shortchanging the development of various sports programs in the Philippines."
In his resolution, Romero said Philippine colleges and universities recruit foreign student-athletes "to give undue advantage to their various collegiate and university teams," a practice that "does not help the development of any sport in the country."
This practice shows that the colleges and universities are "engrossed in winning a championship for their schools that they do not anymore recruit players local, and instead go to African and American countries to find imported players."
According to Romero, Gilas Pilipinas' performance in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, where they finished in last place, only showed that there is a lack of homegrown talent in the country.
"It is imperative that the legislature enact the necessary measures that would stop and prohibit all collegiate and university leagues from recruiting and using non-Filipino and foreign imports as players," he said.
Romero, the owner of the NorthPort franchise in the PBA, has previously suggested that Gilas Pilipinas needs a pool of naturalized players, and has filed a bill seeking the naturalization of celebrated Ginebra import Justin Brownlee.
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