DURING a Thursday afternoon briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque vowed to raise the concerns of 1996 Olympics silver medalist Onyok Velasco to the Office of the President.
A few weeks ago, Velasco spoke out again on the claims that he has yet to receive millions worth of incentives promised to him 25 years ago, when he clinched a silver medal in boxing in the Atlanta Games.
Roque addressed the issue during a Malacanang Palace press conference.
“Napakahirap mangako sa mga bigong pangako ng nakalipas na administrasyon… I-check natin if may retroactive effect ‘yung binibigay na P10 million ng gobyerno,” he said in front of the national press. “Ipaki-usap natin kay Presidente ito baka mabigyan siya ng pabuya ngayon.”
It is, however, not the first time the Duterte administration promised to settle the matter.
The enduring issue of Onyok Velasco incentives
In fact, in 2016, after our now gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz won silver at Rio de Janeiro, it was once again brought to national attention.
At the time, the president said that he was waiting for a ‘go-signal’ before taking action.
Since then, there has been no further update on the matter until the boxing legend revealed in an interview with GMA’s 24 Oras that he’s hoping Diaz would receive all of the incentives promised to her.
Republic Act No. 9064, which guarantees monetary rewards for Olympic medalists, only took effect in 2001... long after Velasco clinched silver in Atlanta back in 1996. An earlier law, RA 7549, which was enacted in 1992, only promised that “all prizes and awards granted to athletes in local and international sports tournaments and competitions held in the Philippines or abroad and sanctioned by their respective national sports associations shall be exempt from income tax.”
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