The Filipino athletes who won medals in the recent Southeast Asian Games attended a ceremony on Wednesday at Malacañang Palace, where the administration handed out more than P18 million as a reward for their efforts in Kuala Lumpur last month.
"I congratulate you all, especially our medalists, for the accomplishment that brought honor to the country. You have prevailed and made our nation proud," President Rodrigo Duterte said.
"I encourage our athletes to focus on improving and to start to be better in the next SEA Games. The government and Filipino people will support you in every step."
The Philippines won 24 gold, 33 silver and 64 bronze medals in the Malaysia SEA Games.
Among the gold winners who were present at the Palace were: Nikko Huelgas (triathlon), Samuel Morrison (taekwondo), Mary Joy Tabal (marathon), Kiyomi Watanabe (judo) and Agatha Wong (wushu).
"You are the example of camaraderie, hard work and success of the Filipinos. Wear your medal with pride. Congratulations and be proud for being a Filipino," said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who led the event before Duterte took over and gave out the bonuses and a presidential citation to the gold medalists.
According to Republic Act 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, SEA Games gold medalists are entitled to P300,000, silver P150,000 and bronze P60,000.
For teams with 4 or less members, the money will be split evenly for each individual. For teams with 5 or more participants, each player will receive 25% of the individual cash incentive.
A total of P18,037,500 were awarded to medal-winning athletes, while P7,181,250 were for coaches.
Dennis Uy, a Davao businessman and presidential adviser for sports, also promised to add P50,000 for the gold medalists; P30,000 for silver; and P10,000 for bronze winners.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)