Student-athletes raise budget issues; SDO explains side

Originally published in the Heraldo Filipino Broadsheet Vol. 34 Double Issue

DLSU-D athletes, together with their coaching staff, raised concerns regarding alleged budget delays and inconsistencies with their benefits as student-athletes, despite being on the top of various leagues and competitions including the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) and Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA).

While, aiming to create possibilities that will utilize sports as one of the catalysts in physical, social, mental, and academic development, as well as nurture communion and foster compassion among members of the Lasallian community, the Sports Development Office is responsible for the development and formation of the Patriots as they continue to bring pride to the green-and-white team.

Not the first time

Raised concerns regarding alleged budget delays and inconsistencies were never the first time, addressed by the athletes themselves, as limitations were being set along with other benefits being slashed as another academic year began. SDO Director John Casidsid, however, stated that they tend to make few adjustments to be able to make up for the delays including tightening their budget to cover and shoulder all the operating expenses for the academic year every “delayed” provision of funds. 

“We (SDO) sacrifice. ‘Yong mga coaches natin, they wait … [and] even ‘yong athletes. Ang sinasabi nga namin dito sa office, mauna na muna [‘yong budget para sa] athletes natin,” he furthered.

Casidsid added that all needs of the athletess, particularly for their training, conditioning, and wellness, always depend on the availability of the source.

“The school is trying its best na maibigay din naman yong pangangailangan [ng athletes and coaching staff]. Siguro compared sa other schools na malalaki na, may budget constraint talaga [ang DLSU-D],” Casidsid said. 

Behind the scholarship benefit

Following the decline of the student population because of the K-12 program implementation, Casidsid explains that the number of athletes who acquire scholarship benefits under his office is continuously growing, yet the allocated fund for the scholarship continues to decrease. 

May nakalaan naman bawat team, may percentage para sa kanila (athletes). The coaches will be the one who will divide that, paguusapan din yan dito [sa office]. For example, they (athletes of a team) have 1200 percent, the coach will be the one to divide kung sinong bibigyan niya [ng certain percentage] based on the skills and performance and then they would recommend it to SDO,” the SDO director explained.

He furthered that as the number of enrollees continues to drop, the supporting foundation of their office will also continue to suffer from the deficiency until everything isnormalized. 

Talking about the SDO budget, “nakasalalay from the students, [budget is] coming from the athletic fee [paid by] the students. Now, because of the [K-12] program of the Department of Education, nagkaroon tayo ng problema kasi nga we only have first year and second year (enrollees), nabawasan nang nabawasan, so ‘yong budget na naibibigay sa sports ay lumiliit din.”  

“Late” payment one of the reasons

As SDO unceasingly relies on the budget from the athletic fee coming from the undergraduate students’ other fees, SDO Director claims that the alleged budget delays can be traced back from students who tend to not pay their fees “on time.”

Magkakaroon talaga ng budget [constraint] doon sa Accounting [Office]. Syempre, nagpapasweldo sila (Accounting Office) ng mga employees. Saan kukuhanin ang sweldo ng mga employees? ‘Di ba sa payment being made by the students. Syempredi rin naman natin masisi ang mga estudyante [at] mga magulang nila. Kalimitan nagbabayad sila bago mag-enrollment na, papaano naman yong days and months [na hindi sila nakapagbayad], saan kukuhayong admin [ng ipapasuweldo sa employees]?,” Casidsid claimed.

Sponsors as “marketing partners”

Being responsible for the promotion of the University through the athletes, he also shared that as the SDO Director, asking support and involvement of the alumni and other organizations inside the University is also a part of his duty. Challenging them to support the Patriots in any manner is one of his initiatives, mentioning that other La Salle schools alumni take part in supporting their respective teams. 

“My vision is to also involve alumni in helping because this is for the marketing of the school. Lalapit din tayo sa mga nandito [sa loob ng campus] like POLCA (Parents Organization La Salle Cavite),” SDO Director explained.

Revision for working relations

Ensuring to meet the respective benefits and welfare of the Patriots, Casidsid mentioned that a revised contract between the SDO and the athletes is set to be released. The revised contract will include the terms and conditions agreed upon between SDO and student-athletes regarding the new process of evaluation of the scholarship grant based on their academic standing and performance during games.

As of press time, the SDO and the athletes are in the process of discussing the issues concerned.

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