THE UNIVERSITY is back in the international debating scene after getting a spot in the United Asian Debating Championship (UADC) last month.

The Thomasian Debaters’ Council (TDC) emerged as the 11th best debating team in Asia after three students from UST advanced to the octo-finals round of the tournament, held last May 22-30 at Ateneo de Manila.

More than 80 teams participated in the largest inter-varsity parliamentary tournament in Asia, but only 16 teams made it to the octo-finals in the Open Break Category after eight rounds of successive eliminations, including Team UST 1 which was represented by TDC.

Members of UST 1 were Mark Quitoy and Alfonso Roel Vargas from the Faculty of Arts and Letters, and Ricka Dumelod from the College of Accountancy. All were first-time international debate competitors.

It was a comeback for UST 14 years after its world champion finish in the 1999 World Universities Debating Championship in “English as a Second Language Category,” with a team led by Arlene Maneja, the 2002 Bar examinations topnotcher. The recent feat of TDC is considered its highest achievement since it joined the competition in 2010.

The tournament, considered the most prestigious in Asia, followed the Asian Parliamentary Format where there are three speakers in each team and the motion to be debated is revealed just 30 minutes before the round starts. Other Philippine universities that joined the competition were De La Salle University (15th place), Xavier University (12th), University of the Philippines Manila (5th), Ateneo de Manila (2nd), University of the Philippines Los Baños, and Ateneo de Davao. University of the Philippines Diliman placed 3rd after the eight-round eliminations, but eventually emerged as the champion of the 4th UADC after beating the team from the National University of Singapore.

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The last time UST joined the Asian competition was in 2010. It wasn’t able to join the tournament in 2011 and 2012 due to financial problems.

This year, the team was given a subsidy by the Office of the Rector amounting to P49,000.

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