MANILA, Philippines -- Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam stands to receive millions in rewards after his second-place finish in men's flyweight in the Tokyo Olympics.
Coming home with a silver medal from his maiden Olympics campaign, Paalam will receive P5 million from the government as mandated by Republic Act 10699.
The MVP Sports Foundation and San Miguel Corp. chairman Ramon S. Ang will also give P5 million each, and Congressman Mikee Romero will give P2 million as well. Paalam will also receive a house and lot in Cagayan de Oro and in Tagaytay, as well as a motorcycle from Motortrade.
As thrilled as he is with his windfall, Paalam is hoping that their coaches in the boxing team will also be given their own rewards for the work they have done.
"Pasalamat po ako sa lahat," the 23-year-old boxer said, noting the cash incentives will greatly help his family.
"Sana din po, mapansin 'yung mga coaches po," he was quick to add. "Hindi po kami gagaling kung hindi po dahil sa kanila. Sana po, mabigyan din po ang mga coaches namin po, kahit kaunti po na reward sa kanila."
"Sila din po ang naghirap sa amin. Hindi po namin makukuha ito kung 'di dahil sa kanila. Sana po, please lang po, mabigyan din po ang mga coaches namin po, kahit kaunti lang po," Paalam said.
"Hindi po namin makukuha ang mga ganitong bagay, kung hindi dahil sa kanila."
According to RA 10699, coaches of national athletes can also receive cash incentives, if they have personally trained athletes and teams who win in international competitions for at least six months.
The incentives for the coaches shall be equivalent to 50% of the cash incentives for gold, silver, and bronze medalists. If there are more than one coach, the incentives will be divided among them.
Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), assured that the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) will also take care of the coaches.
"PSC ang meron diyan," he said.
Paalam, who defeated the reigning Olympic champion en route to the gold medal match, has expressed his deep appreciation for coach Elmer Pamisa, the man who discovered him as a youngster in Cagayan de Oro and helped mold him into a world-class boxer.
So grateful is Paalam to "Coach Pam" that he asked the leadership of ABAP if his mentor can come with the team to the Tokyo Olympics, believing his presence will greatly help in his campaign.
"Parang papa ko na siya," Paalam said of Pamisa. "Sabi ko pa nga, nagsabi po ako, sana makasama ko si Coach Pam. Sabi ko sa kanila, nag-message pa ako -- gagawin ko 'yung best ko, mag-medal ako, makasama lang si Coach Pam."
"'Yun po, nag-blessing ang Panginoon, nakasama ko siya," the boxer added. "Sobang saya po kasi, niyakap ko talaga siya nung pa-silver ko po kasi sobrang mahal ko siya, parang papa ko na po. 'Yun po, inaalay ko 'yung medal sa kaniya."
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