Before the 2019 Southeast Asian Games would begin, as various sports venues in Luzon were preparing at fever pace, particularly in New Clark City, there were concerned voices regarding the state of preparedness for the athletes representing the country. The Philippines was host after all. Some were worried that certain competitors and teams were not getting funding for uniforms and equipment. And still some were curious if the government still has something to give if the nation’s sportsmen won any medals this December. Now the SEA Games are over and despite some major-event-disappointments, the Philippines topped the medal count. Now the athletes await their reward.
And President Rodrigo Duterte is not going to ruin Christmas for Filipino national sportsmen and women as CNN Philippines tells it. It certainly would not happen after the impressive medal haul the host country pulled off in the 2019 SEA Games from November 30 to December 11. Philippine athletes that win medals for the country during the biennial regional multi-sporting event meet are covered by R.A. 10699 with regards to incentives: P300,000 for winning a gold medal, P150,000 for silver, and P60,000 for bronze. And there are plenty of SEA Games medalists to award to.
But that is not all. President Duterte has also earlier announced that these cash incentives will be increased for the SEA Games Filipino medal-winners. Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairperson Butch Ramirez revealed that the additional amounts to the basic R.A. 10699 incentives are as follows: P250,000 for all gold medalists, P150,000 for silver, and P100,00 for the bronze medal awardees. And that does not even include more awards to be given out by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC); after all, some of these medalists are also qualified to compete next year at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
In order to make such a generous reward to the hardships of the Philippine athletes in the recently-concluded Southeast Asian Games feasible, members of the Lower House of Congress even made a pledge back in December 5 that they will donate a portion of their respective salaries for January 2020, in order to form an additional P10 million in funds for the bonus incentives that President Rodrigo Duterte has promised. Such an action was understandable, considering at the time it was becoming clear that the host nation was winning lots of medals. The total count at the end of the SEA Games: 149 gold medals, 117 silver, and 121 bronze.
The proud and happy SEA Games medalists will be calling on the President at the Malacañang Palace next week on December 18, where Duterte will present them their well-earned incentives.
Image from UNTW Web