POC mulls pension plan for medalists

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 18 2012 09:50 AM | Updated as of Jul 18 2012 05:50 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino gold medalists in future Olympics and Asian Games won't have to fully rely on Republic Act 9064 or the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001.

Under RA 9064, which was enacted under the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, every medal in major international competitions has an equivalent cash incentive.

As far as the Olympics and Asian Games are concerned, a gold medal is worth P5 million and P1 million, a silver P2.5 million and P500,000, and a bronze P1 million and P100,000, respectively.

There are also corresponding cash incentives for every medal won in any quadrennial world championships and the Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco wants a better incentives package for gold medalists in the Olympics and Asian Games.

Cojuangco wants a long-lasting pension plan for these athletes.

"As they do it in other countries it will only cover the gold medalists in the Olympics and Asian Games where the standards are more defined," said POC spokesperson Jose Romasanta yesterday.

"It's a practical way of recognizing the efforts of our athletes. At least, they have something to look forward to when they retire. It will help address the basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and even medicines," Romasanta said.

Cojuangco is eyeing amendments to RA 9064, and the pension plan which he has in mind should be included.

"But let's limit it to the Asian Games and the Olympics. The world championships of some sports don't live to the standards that the Asian Games and the Olympics have.

"Like retired government employees, athletes should have a monthly financial assistance from the GSIS. We're looking at that setup when our lawmakers amend RA 9064,"said Romasanta.