Still no allowance for 2 Philippine paralympic athletes after 2 years

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 26 2019 11:59 PM | Updated as of Mar 27 2019 06:12 PM

Philippine Paralympic team members. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Two members of the Philippine Paralympic swimming team have not received any allowance since they joined the national training pool two years ago.

The monthly basic allowance of an athlete starts at P15,000, which already includes their meal allowance – a considerably low amount for someone who leaves school or work to compete for the country. 

Para athletes Edwin Villanueva and Adrian Asul trained with the national team in 2017. Since then, they have been recommended to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to receive allowance but have yet to get approval, according to the team’s coaches Tony Ong and Marjorie Palumbarit.

“Ako, as a new athlete for swimming, bago pa lang, hindi pa nagkaka-allowance,” lamented Villanueva, a fourth placer at the 3rd Asian Para Games last year. “As in wala po, zero po talaga.”

(Me, as a new athlete for swimming, still new, has yet to receive allowance. As in none, zero.)

Villanueva and Asul are currently staying at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City where free meals are being served.

“’Yung mga atleta natin, full of potential pero wala silang food [allowance] man lang, at yung kanilang tutulugan, mahihirapan pa sila. Paano ka makakapag-training nang maayos?” said Ong.

(Our athletes have full of potential but they do not get even get food allowance, they also have a hard time at their place. How could they train well?)

Palumbarit added, “There are a lot of challenges. We really have to have support and we really need to work together.”

PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez said an athlete should receive allowance immediately after joining the national training pool. That is subject for increase if an athlete wins a medal. 

The agency is receiving roughly P1.2 billion annually or 2.5 percent of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) gross income since the time of former President Fidel Ramos notwithstanding the mandate of the Republic Act 6847 that PSC should receive 5-percent share.

Around P6 million of the budget go to different national sports associations for the allowance of the athletes. The body also gets sponsorship from private sectors for additional funds. 

“Your PSC is trying its best to really support you of your needs but we also do hope that you understand where we are especially in financial side,” said Fernandez.

Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, gave a “commitment” during the pep rally of #GoPilipinasGo movement for the Team Philippines.

“All of us are committing to you that we will work harder. We will try to have more funds and activities to support you,” he told hundreds of athletes present at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium in Manila Tuesday night.

(L-R) Philippine Olympic Committee board member Jonne Go, former athlete Monsour Del Rosario, Philippine Paralympic Committee president Mike Barredo, Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano, and Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Butch Ramirez during the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Paralympic athletes arrive during the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner Butch Ramirez greets a paralympic athlete during the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

An athlete waves a Philippine flag during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Paralympic athletes attend the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

PSC Commissioner Butch Ramirez enters the venue with NCRPO Police Director General Guillermo Eleazar, and basketball legend Ramon Fernandez during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

PSC Commissioner Butch Ramirez converses with Philippine Olympic Committee Treasurer Julian Camacho during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Former PBA star Ronnie Magsanoc during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

PSC Commissioner Butch Ramirez during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Cynthia Carrion (R) during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Mon Fernandez during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The Arellano University pep squad perform during the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Paralympic athlete Gary Bejino during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano takes a selfie with former athlete Monsour Del Rosario, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Butch Ramirez, and basketball legend Mon Fernandez take a selfie during the grand pep rally for the 2019 SEA Games held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

(L-R) Paralympic athletes Edwin Villanueva and Gary Bejino sing the National Anthem during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Bowling world champion Bong Coo during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

International singer Maria Laroca performs during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee chairman Alan Peter Cayetano greets athletes during the SEA Games 2019 grand pep rally held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 26, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

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