UAAP will tackle special guest licenses on case-to-case basis, says official

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2020 03:42 PM

UAAP will tackle special guest licenses on case-to-case basis, says official 1
UAAP Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. UAAP Media. 

MANILA, Philippines -- The UAAP will decide on applications for a special guest license (SGL) on a case-to-case basis, as opposed to making a universal rule on the matter, according to executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag. 

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) came up with the SGLs to "bridge" amateur and professional sports. The special license will be given to amateur players -- such as student-athletes -- who want to play in professional leagues on a limited basis. 

"We are providing an opportunity. They can take advantage of this provision para po makalaro ang athletes sa professional sports on a limited basis, and on the consent of their respective leagues," Atty. Ermar Benitez, the chief of GAB's legal division, said in a recent press briefing. 

The NCAA has already stated that it will honor SGLs, paving the way for their student-athletes to play in leagues such as the Premier Volleyball League and the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3.

The UAAP, however, has indicated that it will not honor SGLs. Saguisag, in an appearance on "Power and Play," said that as per the league's rules, a student-athlete will lose their eligibility if they participate in a professional league. 

"Wala pa namang naga-apply sa amin," Saguisag also said of the SGLs. 

"Sabi naman ng GAB, case to case basis 'yan, so ganoon din kami," he added.

In the NCAA, student-athletes who wish to play in pro leagues must first ask permission from their school, after which the school will endorse the request to the league. Only then will the NCAA endorse their application to the GAB. 

"We were made aware of the GAB resolution about special guest licenses," Saguisag said. "However, may mga conditions po doon eh. First the certification, one of which is the certification coming from the athletic association, sila ay bona fide player and one of the documents to be passed to the GAB before a special guest license can be issued. So isa po 'yun sa mga important documents."

Saguisag said that once a player has applied for an SGL, that's the only time they will make a decision on the case.

"Mag-apply sila, then we'll see," said Saguisag, who stressed that they have to study the fine print of the application and the contract that the player will have with their professional team as well as the league. 

"Ang pinaka-importante is 'yung they will not receive any kind of renumeration. Hindi natin alam baka maabuso 'yang ganyan eh," he said.

The most high-profile case of a student-athlete who was given an SGL is University of the Philippines star Juan Gomez de Liano, who played in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup last month. It remains to be seen, however, if the UAAP will eventually honor his SGL and thus allow him to play for the Fighting Maroons.

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