AS A TOKEN of gratitude to the Filipino athletes’ heroism in last May’s Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), no less than President Marcos Jr. himself will personally thank them in a simple ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on July 20.
“We are grateful for President Marcos’ decision to personally award the incentives to Team Philippines, an expression of his admiration to our national athletes and their unwavering passion and dedication for representing the country,” said Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chair Richard Bachmann in a statement yesterday.
The Chief Executive will also hand over the monetary incentives worth P60 million for medalists in the Phnom Penh SEA Games and P14 million for medal winners in the ASEAN Para Games (APG) held last month in the Cambodian capital.
Under the law, a SEA Games gold is worth P300,000, a silver P150,000 and a bronze P60,000 while a mint, silver and bronze in the ASEAN Para Games amount to P150,000, P75,000 and P30,000, respectively.
World champion gymnast Carlos Yulo should get most of the bounty having emerged the most bemedalled Filipino athlete in the biennial event for the second straight edition after scooping up two gold and the same number of silver in Phnom Penh.
Chesser Darry Bernardo, for his part, emerged the best performer in the national para team after sweeping all the six gold available in his division for the visually impaired while another woodpusher Cheyzer Mendoza came second with a five-gold haul in the women’s section with physical impairment.
“In the past, the PSC conducted two separate awardings for SEAG and APG medalists, but I believe it is more fitting to join the two for the President’s first-ever incentives awarding during his administration,” said Mr. Bachmann.
Also expected to attend are Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Senate Committee on Sports Chair Sen. Bong Go, House Committee on Youth and Sports Chairman Rep. Faustino Dy III, and Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham Tolentino.
The country placed fifth in the SEAG with 58 gold, 85 silver and 117 bronze while it delivered a record-breaking 34 gold, 33 silver and 50 bronzes in the ASEAN Para Games.
The bonus was apart from what the Filipino athletes received from the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, which gave them P100,000, P50,000 and P30,000 for a gold, silver and bronze.
Christmas came early for them indeed. — Joey Villar