HOW lucky the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist can get.
The country’s first ever gold medal winner in the Summer Games stands to receive a whooping P10 million incentive following the enactment of Republic Act 10699, which raised the amount and broadened the coverage of incentives and improved the benefits granted to national athletes, trainers, and coaches.
The new law repealed RA 9064 or the National Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001. It aims to increase the amount of cash incentives given to winning athletes, coaches, and trainers, and to include athletes with disabilities in the grant of benefits and incentives.
Only two Filipino athletes came close to winning a gold for the Philippines in boxers Mansueto ‘Onyok’ Velasco and the late Anthony Villanueva, who bagged a silver medal in the 1964 (Tokyo) and 1996 (Atlanta) Olympics, respectively.
Silver medalist this time will get P5 million, while bronze medal winner P2 million.
Senator Sonny Angara, sponsor and one of the authors of RA 10699, lauded the enactment of the law.
“It’s high time we recognize our outstanding athletes with disabilities, which is why we included them among the national athletes deserving of incentives should they win in international competitions,” said Angara, chairman of the Committee on Games, Amusement, and Sports.
“Likewise, we wanted to recognize and give justice to our winning national athletes by increasing the amount of prizes and benefits for them to receive.”
The new law also entitles Asian Games gold medalist P2 million in cash incentives, while silver and bronze winners will get P1 million and P400,000, respectively.
For the Southeast Asian Games, gold winner gets P300,000, silver medalist P150,000, and bronze medalist P60,000.
For team events with five or more participants, each member will get 25 percent of the cash incentives provided for the individual medal winners.
Apart from regular major competitions, medalists of world-level championships held every two years or with at least 45 countries participating and of Asian-level competitions held every two years or with at least 25 countries participating will also receive cash incentives.
“Filipinos love sports so it is but proper for our government to amply recognize and reward the achievements of our athletes. Winning medals and competitions at the international level is usually the result of years of hard training by both athletes and coaches, and they fully deserve any reward under our new law,” Angara stressed.
Furthermore, the bill seeks to grant every national athlete, coach and trainer 20-percent discount on transportation, hotels and other lodging establishments, restaurants, and purchase of medicine and sports equipment for their actual and exclusive use.
Winning national athletes will also be entitled to scholarship benefits in the form of full tuition fees in state colleges and universities.
“We thank the President, the legislators and the Philippine Sports Commission for supporting and helping craft the new incentives scheme,” Angara said.