MANILA, Philippines -- National athletes and coaches are expected to receive their full allowances again starting next week, according to Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.
This, after their allowances were slashed in half last June due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. At the time, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez said it was a "hard decision" that they had to make to ensure that they can continue giving out allowances until December 2020.
But the passing of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan Act 2) provides for the country's sports program that was momentarily sacrificed as the government channeled funds to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is good news for our athletes who have become anxious and even lost their focus during the pandemic," Tolentino said in a statement. "With their allowances back to normal, they can now concentrate on their training."
Bayanihan Act 2 provides P180 million for the allowances of national team members, and they will receive those allowances retroactively from July.
Each of the athletes and coaches will also receive a one-time pandemic assistance worth P5,000.
"The funds are now with the PSC and we expect the allowances to be back to normal on the next pay day for the athletes and coaches," said Tolentino.
The national team athletes under the PSC's care include 996 athletes, 262 coaches, 280 para athletes, and 82 para coaches. The total monthly payroll is P41 million.