Saguisag on UAAP 84: The game-changer would be the vaccine rollouts

FEU Advocate
June 05, 2021 07:45

By Joaquin Luis E. Quesada

For the first episode of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Talk, league's president Emmanuel Calanog and executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag discussed the possibility of opening season 84 and the behind-the-scene events in cancelling the 83rd season.

UAAP season 82 was cut short back in April 2020 and its next edition was cancelled last December 2020 due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to prioritize the health and safety of the student-athletes.

The collegiate league saw a glimpse of hope in opening season 84 when the vaccines arrived in the country last February.

“I guess the game-changer would be the vaccine rollouts. All these decisions were made with the premise that there is no vaccine yet. Now that we have the vaccines, and they are proving to be effective, maybe that’s the game-changer,” Saguisag said.

The UAAP’s proposal to resume face-to-face training was already approved at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) level; they are still waiting for the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Now that the vaccines are available, the league is also hoping that it would ease the return of the collegiate competition.

“The protocols, as discussed at the time, were I think technically approved at the CHED level already… I was discussing with (Saguisag) earlier the possibility of probably getting back to CHED and discussing with them if there would be any changes to the protocols knowing that the vaccines, technically, are already available,” Calanog said.

De La Salle University (DLSU) was supposed to be the school host for the cancelled season 83. Calanog shared that they requested the UAAP Board of Trustees for DLSU to be the host for season 84 because they knew season 83 might not be a full season.

Calanog also added that DLSU held webinars for their student-athletes to educate them about the vaccine and encourage them to get vaccinated once it’s available to them.

“That was one of the webinars that we had for our athletes, was really for them to be able to ask questions to a medical professional on the science of the vaccine so that we could encourage our athletes to get vaccinated once it is available,” he said.

The Philippine Sports Commission gave the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the student-athletes who will be delegates for the Tokyo Olympics and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

(File photo from Alexzhis Mark Belga/FEU Advocate)