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Lawmaker wants to ban foreign players in collegiate sports leagues

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A party-list lawmaker has filed a resolution to prohibit all collegiate and university leagues from recruiting foreign players, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In filing House Resolution 388, Deputy Speaker and 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero said recruiting non-Filipino citizens and foreign import players stops the growth and development of “homegrown Filipino players” and shortchanges the development of various sports programs in the country.

“This practice of bringing in non-Filipino and foreign import recruits does not help the development of any sport in the country, in fact, it is counter-productive as it stunts the growth and development of homegrown athletes,” Romero said in the resolution.

“Philippine colleges and universities who are in practice of recruiting and using non-Filipino and foreign import players are so engrossed in winning a championship for their schools that they do not anymore recruit players locally and instead go to African and American countries to find imported players,” he added.

Romero noted that recruiting foreign players gives “undue advantage” to their collegiate teams, and the audience is merely watching a league dominated by foreign imports.

The lawmaker cited the last-place finish of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup as an example showing the lack of homegrown talents 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, acquiring, and using non-Filipino citizens and foreign imports and players,” Romero said.

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