Aside from the generous cash incentives from the Philippine Sports Commission and President RODRIGO Roa Duterte, the national team was conferred the “Order of Lapulapu” for winning the overall championship in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Almost 600 medalists of the SEAG trooped to meet President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Malacanang Palace Wednesday and receive their cash reward were also conferred the said award which is given to those who are “deserving of merit and recognition and to fully express the President’s appreciation of the Filipino people’s contributions to the success of the campaigns and programs of the Government.”
Led by Team Philippines Chef de Mission and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, the national team, donning their official tracksuit, was warmly received by the President at the Rizal Hall of Malacanang Palace.
Also in attendance were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Olympic Committee President, Cong Bambol Tolentino, Philippine SEAG Organizing Committee Chairman and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Commissioners Celia Kiram, Arnold Agustin and Charles Maxey along with the presidents and secretaries general of the different national sports associations.
By law, a gold medal fetches P300,000, silver P150,000 and bronze P60,000. Incentives for athletes alone is almost P79 million. In a short program prior to the arrival of the President, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) turned over the check to fund the said incentives awarding consistent with RA 10699.
In his speech, Ramirez recognized the role of government in the success of the national team on its SEAG campaign saying “we are lucky to have a President who support us fully and has a big heart for our athletes.”
During Duterte’s term, the national athletes were given nutrition support, higher allowances, refurbished facilities, new equipment and more opportunities for training and exposures. “When we came in, the athletes received on P5000 meal allowance. Now on top of that they also get P25,000 worth of nutrition support monthly,” explained Ramirez, adding that these investments on the national team paid handsomely by the landslide win of Team Philippines in the SEAG and “hopefully an Olympic gold soon.”
Pauline Lopez of Taekwondo, Marck Jesus Espejo of Volleyball and Jasmine Alkhaldi of swimming represented the gold, silver and bronze medalists respectively and received the check from the president in a ceremonial awarding.