THE University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is currently working on the possible resumption of activities in 2022.

This was shared by league Executive Director Rebo Q. Saguisag on the Power & Play radio program on Saturday, saying the UAAP is in constant communication with all stakeholders in trying to chart a path for its return.

Consultations are also being done with various government agencies to ensure that the direction they will be taking is in accordance with existing guidelines amid the prevailing conditions with the pandemic.

“The mind-set right now of the league has shifted from being very conservative early on in the pandemic to being more open [to the possibility of resuming] a year and a half after,” said Mr. Saguisag.

“We continue to consult with the experts and we talked with the representatives of the other leagues, and we’re happy that the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), GAB (Games and Amusements Board), and CHEd (Commission on Higher Education) helped us in crafting these protocols,” he added.

Mr. Saguisag was quick to say though that nothing is concrete yet and that discussions and studies are still ongoing.

The UAAP decided to officially scrap the remainder of Season 82 in April last year as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic started to make its presence felt in the country.

It looked to start its new season early this year, but had to forego the plan as face-to-face classes remain prohibited.

If they do resume next year, Mr. Saguisag said one of the measures they will be requiring is the vaccination of participating student-athletes.

“Vaccines are a game changer. When we go to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases), we’ll make it part of our requirements, for everyone involved to be vaccinated,” he said.

He also shared that a “bubble,” where activities are conducted in a controlled setting, may be suited for them since they are dealing with student-athletes.

“We are looking at a bubble. It can be argued that sports bubbles are safer,” Mr. Saguisag said.

The UAAP official went on to say that the conduct of collegiate sports activities has to return at some point, but it has to be carefully planned.

“Sports has a big role in the health of the nation. It’s a source of diversion. [And it has to return] But, of course, we in the UAAP have to ensure the safety of everyone in the league first and we’re working on that.”

The UAAP is composed of the largest universities in the country, namely: the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, University of the East, Adamson University and National University. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo