Text by John Reczon Calay
Photos by Ian Carlo Estares and Max Custodio
(Editor’s note: This story is included in the first print issue of TNP for Editorial Year 2014-2015.)
MANILA – The lack of funds has prevented proper maintenance of athletic facilities and equipment at the University of the Philippines, a human kinetics officer said.
The College of Human Kinetics (CHK) Administrative Officer Elena Sabeniano admittedly described the university’s sports facilities and equipment “[n]ot that competitive unlike other schools” stressing the lack of budget as the main reason.
The incompetency and lack of proper grooming of the gymnasium has caused some students to call the facilities and equipment “unsatisfactory.”
For speech communication sophomore Tony Reyes his fencing class during the second semester last year was okay except for the old and very few fencing blades and jackets.
“Karamihan ay luma na, actually. . . We take turns using (the) available jackets, we use semi-deteriorated foils kahit nagkakalawang na,” Reyes said.
On the other hand, John Romel Flora, a BS Geology student who took swimming for a PE, said that the swimming pool (located at the University Arcade) is rather “decent.”
Despite having no doors at the changing rooms, there are separate shower rooms for males and females. Except for two food stalls, the rest of the place was abandoned, Flora said.
Meanwhile, business administration sophomore Gabriel Gaspan said that while there was sufficient equipment, the condition of the basketball court became the problem.
“[M]edyo loose na (ang rings). ‘Yung sahig nga butas-butas o tinatapalan ng kung ano man,” Gaspan said.
Funding for the maintenance of these facilities and the rest of the gymnasium primarily comes from the P75.00 athletic fee included in the semester enrollment fees.
Built in 1982, the university gymnasium, houses two basketball courts, four volleyball courts, nine badminton courts, two dance areas, judo-karate-wrestling room, weight-training area, fencing area, and a table tennis area according to the UP College of Human Kinetics (CHK) website. There are also sports facilities outside the university compound such as the 50-meter competition-size swimming pool, four-court tennis area, Track and Field oval, and an archery range. Other PE classes such as wall climbing and ten-pin bowling are held outside the campus.
Sabeniano added that aside from the budget shortage, the university’s policy on hiring utility personnel from a manpower agency is also a key factor to what quality of facilities they’re going to offer to the students.
Since the retirement of 12 utility personnel, the university never filled up the vacant positions with a regular employee. Instead, agency workers who are subject to frequent switching of building assignments were tasked to take care of the gym. For this, “the maintenance of facilities deprived,” Sabeniano said.
Aside from the CHK gym, a new basketball court was constructed next to it. Six months after its inauguration on June 2013, the court had to go renovation with Department of Public Works and Highways due to busted flooring.
The university gymnasium also underwent renovation in May to prepare for use during the present academic year.
IN PHOTOS: PE Facilities