Malacanang on Sunday urged the private sector to help support Filipino athletes, given the government’s limited resources.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the country’s funds are tied to projects that help Filipinos rise from poverty.
This is, he said, why President Benigno Aquino 3rd had instructed that support be prioritized for events where Filipino athletes have a good chance of winning.
“The problem is that the government has limited resources, and is prioritizing the use of such resources for poverty alleviation,” Coloma said
“We can ask the private sector for help. The only solution we see is cooperation between government and the private sector to support excellent athletes like Michael Martinez,” he added.
Coloma praised Martinez for representing the Philippines at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
He said Martinez, who competed in figure skating, did the country proud with his performance.
“We acknowledge his fine performance and are one with the Filipino people in making sure he will get a warm welcome upon his return,” Coloma said.
While he landed in 19th place, Martinez awed audiences
– including Filipinos who watched the televised coverage – with his performance.
Martinez stands to receive a $10,000 bonus from the MVP Sports Foundation of businessman Manny Pangilinan after his historic performance in Sochi.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE