Filipino Olympians receive incentives from government

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2021 09:28 PM | Updated as of Aug 23 2021 10:17 PM

Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial pose for a photo before receiving government incentives. Philippine Sports Commission
Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial pose for a photo before receiving government incentives. Philippine Sports Commission

MANILA — The athletes who brought home the Philippines' record 4-medal haul at the recent Olympics, including the country's first Olympic gold, received on Monday incentives from the government. 
 
"I congratulate you once again for bringing pride and honor to the country, and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the COVID-19 pandemic," President Rodrigo Duterte told the Olympians at a ceremony in Malacañang. 

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines' first gold medallist, received the Presidential Medal of Merit, P15 million from the Philippine Sports Commission and PAGCOR, a housing unit, and P3 million from Office of the President. 

Boxers Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, who copped silver medals, each received P5 million from the PSC, housing unit from National Housing Authority, and P2 million from the Office of the President. 

Bronze medalist Eumir Marcial received P2 million from the PSC, a housing unit, and P1 million from Duterte's office.

The other athletes who represented the Philippines at Tokyo 2020 will get P200,000, Malacañang said. 
 
Duterte said he is confident that the athletes "will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future."

"Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and our Filipino youth to channel their energies into sports and other productive activities, keeping them away from the harmful vices," the President said.

The Philippines’ first Olympic silver medalist, boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, also received a P500,000 incentive from the Office of the President during the event.

Velasco recently revealed that he has yet to get the P2.5 million cash incentive some lawmakers pledged when he bagged the silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. 

He said he also failed to receive scholarship grants for his children from another pledger, and a monthly allowance of P10,000 that a businessman promised but discontinued within a year, according to the boxer. 

Government "remains to committed to providing full support to our Filipino athletes," said Duterte. 

"The strength and excellence of our athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit and resilience and determination to succeed," he said. 

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