CHED confirms 'bubble' issues, orders UST, NU to explain

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is giving a chance to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and National University (NU) to explain themselves following the confirmation of their respective "bubble" issues.

"The show-cause orders are for violations of CHED advisories because we issued advisories starting March which specifically said suspension of all levels and all school activities starting April," said CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III in a press briefing on Monday, September 7.

These show-cause orders, De Vera added, will give the schools a chance to explain why they do not need to be sanctioned.

Regardless of their explanations, however, CHED has elevated the matter to both the Department of the Interior and Local Government for possible violations of local ordinances and the Department of Justice for possible violations of Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) guidelines.

The UST Growling Tigers men's basketball team reportedly held training sessions in Sorsogon, while the NU Lady Bulldogs women's volleyball team was also questioned over its own reported practices.

Whether or not these teams would be sanctioned by CHED will depend on their response to the show-cause orders, and if they indeed violated CHED advisories.

"Based on the letter response of UST and the explanations of the sports director of NU, it is clear that there was training done in Sorsogon involving UST basketball players. I don't think there's a question that this so-called bubble really happened,” De Vera said.  

"On the part of NU, they admitted in the discussion that students went to a training facility outside of Manila. And the students, after the lockdown was imposed, not all of them were able to go home and [they] stayed in the dorm of the university. Those are some of the factual events that we included in our report to IATF."

As of writing, multiple agencies including the UAAP have moved to determine what sanctions will be given to the erring teams and team officials, if any. However, no penalties have yet been enforced as investigations carry on. –