ATHLETES who brought honor and glory to the country in international competitions will receive higher incentives following the approval on Tuesday on the third and final reading the National Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers Benefits Incentives Act.
Sen. Sonny Angara, chairman of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusements, and Sports, sponsored Senate Bill No. 2898 increasing the cash incentives of athletes, coaches, and trainers — able-bodied and differently-abled.
Once enacted into law, the bill will amend Republic Act 9064 or the National Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001.
Under the new bill, gold medalists in the Olympics will receive P10 million (from P5 million), while silver medalists get P5 million (from P2.5 million), and bronze medalists P2 million (from P1 million).
Youth Olympic Games and Paralympic Games gold, silver, and bronze medalists will now get incentives of P5 million, P2.5 million, and P1 million, respectively.
Asian Games gold medalists will receive P2 million as cash incentives (from P1 million), silver P1 million (from P500,000), and bronze P400,000 (from P100,000), while Southeast Asian Games winners will receive P300,000 (from P100,000), silver P150,000 (from P50,000), and bronze P60,000 (from P10,000).
For team events with five or more members, each participant will get 25 percent of the cash incentives provided to individual athletes.
Medalists from world-level championships held every two years or with at least 45 countries participating, and Asian-level competitions held every two years or with at least 25 countries participating will also be getting cash incentives.
“Athletes inspire us and demonstrate what is possible with perseverance and hard work. We want to make them feel their efforts are worth it. Giving our athletes proper recognition aligns with our goal to build a society that properly rewards those who succeed,” said Angara.
The senator also explained the inclusion of differently-abled athletes or so-called athletes with disabilities (AWD), citing Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta, a three-time Paralympian who won 10 gold medals in the Asean Paragames.
“There is still no legal mandate granting benefits and incentives to AWDs. In many ways, our AWDs are deprived of equal opportunities and access to public facilities. Their limitations did not stand in their way and we have witnessed how these individuals push the limits to bring pride and honor to the country,” he said.
Senate Bill No. 2898 was co-authored by Angara with fellow Senators Vicente Sotto III, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ramon Revilla Jr., Pia Cayetano, and Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto.