THE Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) hopes to release the cash incentives allowable to all Filipino athletes who won medals in the 27th Southeast Asian Games just before Christmas.
PSC chairman Richie Garcia said the agency is looking to have the incentives given by Monday when the entire 210-strong Philippine delegation is expected to have finally arrived in the country from Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar.
Based on the SEA Games medal tally as of Friday, the country already amassed a total of 26 golds, 27 silvers, and 32 bronzes, which would amount to a total of P6.3 million.
As per Republic Act 9064, gold medalists are entitled to a cash incentive of P100,000, silver medalists P50,000, and bronze medalists P10,000.
Coaches meanwhile, are entitled to get 50 percent of the total incentives earned by a medalist.
“We want our athletes to have a happy Christmas by getting their incentives early,” said Garcia.
But Garcia said he’ll try to secure clearance first from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa regarding the release of the incentives since as per the opinion of the Commission on Audit (CoA), the PSC has to wait first for the go-signal coming from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which is the lead agency that remits the necessary amount for the cash incentives to the National Sports Development Fund of the government sports agency.
PAGCOR according to Garcia already had its board meeting last Dec. 18 and the matter on cash incentives to be given among medalists in the SEA Games were not discussed.
The next PAGCOR board meeting won’t be held until January, which Garcia said would already be too late.
"So I will try to get in touch with Secretary Ochoa and try to get clearance because sayang sa mga atleta. I’m sure there’s always an exception to certain rules.”