UNLIKE some of their private school counterparts facing an uncertain future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, UP-Diliman athletes are fortunate, assured of finishing their courses as state scholars, with other perks and privileges to boot.
“Our commitment to all our athletic scholars remains unchanged. You can quote me on that,” UP-Diliman College of Human Kinetics dean Francisco Diaz said yesterday.
Diaz cited provisions of Republic Act 10931 of 2016, otherwise known as the Free College Law, with Sen. Sonny Angara, a UP alumnus, as its principal author.
The law assures all students enrolled in all state and local colleges and universities of free tuition, so “wala kaming tinatanggal at wala kaming binabawasan. Since we are a state school then automatically our athletes are state scholars.”
In fact, he said, “we are even actively recruiting now despite the pandemic because we are hopeful that the present conditions will normalize as early as possible.”
He added that UP has 475 scholars in 26 varsity teams and clubs, the street dance and cheer dance team included, adding that all of them have other benefits that come from being UP athletes.
“Those athletes from the provinces are also given board and lodging while we also give all of them nominal training and competition allowances,” the UP CHK dean said.
Besides these benefits, he said, the Nowhere To Go But UP Foundation also lends it hand in supporting the school’s athletic scholars.
“Every year this foundation sets aside a certain amount that is distributed to all our teams” Diaz said of the group that counts Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami, Angara, Atty. Agaton Uvero, the team manager of the UP Maroons; and businessman Taipan Millan among its prominent members.