MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled (PhilSPADA-NPC Philippines) chairman Michael Barredo has been bestowed the Paralympic Award by the International Paralympic Committee during its recent general assembly in Greece.
Barredo earned the distinction of being the first from the Philippines to receive the Paralympic Order, the highest tribute accorded to a person connected with the Paralympic Movement.
According to the IPC, the plum is handed over to a person who “has exemplified the Paralympic ideals through their actions, made remarkable strides in Paralympic Sport or rendered outstanding services for the Paralympic cause.”
Barredo, a former member of the Philippine Sports Commission board, likewise received the “Victor Ludorum Award” (The winner of the Games) from the International Blind Sports Federation.
“It is indeed an honor for me as the first and only Filipino to be a recipient of the Paralympic Order award from the IPC as well as the Victor Ludorum Award from the IBSA,” said Barredo yesterday in a courtesy call on PSC chairman Richie Garcia.
Barredo took the opportunity to seek the PSC’s assistance in lobbying for legislative action that will give differently-abled athletes “equal benefits” with abled counterparts.
“It would be great if through your recommendation, this (achievement) could be recognized by the Philippine government/ Congress as it would further the Paralympic movement and our efforts towards the passage of a bill amending Republic Act 9064,” Barredo told Garcia.
He referred to the “National Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001,” which spells out the windfall for every medal in international sports competitions won by the athletes.
Currently, achievements of differently-abled bets are not rewarded by the law and the PSC only takes it upon itself to give incentives for Paralympics, and Paragames.