MANILA, Philippines -- Deputy House Speaker Mikee Romero is prepared to shell out a significant amount of money should Filipino Olympians fulfill his prediction of at least two medals in the Tokyo Olympics.
Romero, who is also the chairman and president of Globalport 900, Inc., has promised to give P3 million for a gold medal, P2 million for a silver medal, and P1 million for a bronze medal.
"I'm hopeful na lima," Romero said on the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum when asked for his prediction.
"'Yan ang hope ko -- maka-limang medalya tayo," he added. "If we don't breach more than two, hindi naman failure, pero two to five ang aking estimate."
"Two being the lowest, and five being the highest."
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, Romero's colleague in the House of Representatives, has been firm in his prediction of a minimum of one gold medal for the Philippines.
Romero has tabbed golfer Yuka Saso and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz as the country's best hopes for a gold medal, but he believes that any member of the Philippine team is capable of reaching the podium.
The Philippines sent 19 athletes to the games, several of which have already won titles at the world level -- including gymnast Carlos Yulo, boxer Nesthy Petecio, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena. Saso, of course, is the reigning U.S. Women's Open champion, and Diaz won a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"I feel that the Philippines will get its first gold medal. Napakalakas ng ating lineup," said Romero. "Malakas at saka ano na lang 'to, kumbaga dibdib na lang nila kung kakayanin nila 'yung pressure."
Romero assured that multiple medalists will receive multiple incentives. Yulo, the 2019 world champion in the floor exercise, will compete in several events and is pegged to win two medals by the president of the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines, Cynthia Carrion.
"Definitely, per medal 'yan. Per medal. They deserve it. You can't put a price sa kanilang pawis at pinaghirapan, but this is the least that we can do as sports leaders," said Romero.
Asked if he is prepared to pony up the millions for the medalists, Romero quipped: "May ipon pa naman tayo."
Forbes in 2020 listed Romero as the 46th richest person in the Philippines, with a net worth of $135-million.
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