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Why Tim Cone and Norman Black can coach in the PBA and how Rajko Toroman can too


With the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) blocking ex-Gilas head coach Rajko Toroman's appointment as head coach for Barako Bull Energy Cola in the PBA, fans may be wondering why foreigners Norman Black and Tim Cone have been allowed to do so.
While Toroman might suffer the same fate as Bill Bayno and Paul Woolpert of Talk 'N Text and John Moran of Shell, multi-titled mentors Black and Cone have been coaching in the PBA because the pair do not fall under the scope of "non-resident aliens" that governs the rule on hiring foreigners to work locally under the Labor Code of the Philippines. Black and Cone have ceased to be non-resident aliens the moment their immigration status changed after marrying their Filipina wives. In a previous interview, Black admitted to gaining permanent residency after marrying Benjie Davila, mother of former Sta. Lucia player Chris Tan. Cone, on the other hand, said in a feature that he has been in the Philippines since he was nine years old. The San Mig Coffee mentor even studied at a local public school in Quezon, before moving to International School Manila where he eventually met Alaska owner Fred Uytengsu. Cone eventually married DLSU alumna Cristina Viaplana, the sister of former DLSU Green Archer Eddie Viaplana. The Department of Labor confirmed to GMA News Online through a phone interview that Cone has no recent record of a work permit. Like Black, Cone is considered a permanent resident, under the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940. Section 13(a) of the Act allows husbands of Philippine citizens to be admitted as permanent residents. The precedent
 
The rule that governs foreign coaches was laid down in 1991, in the case of Alaska as General Milling Corporation and Tim Cone against the Department of Labor and Employment and BCAP. In that case, Cone, who was issued an Alien Employment permit as early as 1989, had his 1990 permit canceled due to the appeal of BCAP. The BCAP argued that no foreign coach can be appointed in the PBA because Article 40 of the Labor Code specifies that such permit can only be issued "after a determination of the non-availability of a person in the Philippines who is competent, able and willing at the time of application to perform the services for which the alien is desired."
 
In the eyes of the law, it did not matter that Cone had experience in an offensive system called the Triangle Offense. Never mind that the Triangle Offense won Phil Jackson 11 NBA championships; the fact that there are other coaches who have experience coaching professionally means that non-resident aliens cannot be allowed such privilege.
 
If you're a Barako Bull top honcho or even just a fan, it seems like you only have two ways to go around this rule. Either you challenge the Supreme Court ruling made in Cone's case, which will take years and millions of billable hours, or make Toroman a permanent resident of the Philippines. However, since Toroman is already married, such a "solution" is unavailable to him. Toroman's solution
 
In essence, Toroman can coach in the Philippines for an initial price of $21,700.
 
In line with the country's mantra that it is indeed more fun in the Philippines, the government has instituted the Special Resident Retiree's Visa (SSRV). Depending on the age, foreigners can enjoy "permanent, non-immigrant status" in the Philippines. In fact, under the SSRV, foreigners can apply for Philippine citizenship after living in the country for at least five years.
Since  May 05, 2011, the Philippine Retirement Authority came up with more SSRV options to entice foreign retirees through its SRRV Products.  Given that Toroman is 57 years old, the Serbian mentor falls under the "SSRV Classic".

The PRA website indicates that foreigners 50 years old and above only need $20,000 (if without pension) to as small as $10,000 (with pension) for a "visa deposit." Toroman only needs to deposit the required amount with a Philippine Retirement Authority designated bank. This deposit should come with a $1,400 application fee for the principal and $300 for his/her spouse and dependent. To continue with the program, the principal only needs to renew his/her application for $360 a year and $100 for each dependent. The costs don't amount to a lot, if you're leaning on an able conglomerate. Toroman may or may not be interested in the Philippine citizenship. However if Barako Bull is serious about letting him lead their team to a championship, $21,700 might be an acceptable price to pay. - MRT/OMG/AMD, GMA News    

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