PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is willing to give additional incentives to Filipino athletes who will bag medals in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, his former top aide said on Thursday.
“I suggested to him na bigyan ng awards and incentives ang athletes natin nang maengganyo namang lumaban despite the controversies. I-boost natin ang kanilang morale para manalo tayo(I suggested to him to give awards and incentives to our athletes to encourage them to fight despite the controversies. Let’s boost their morale so that we will win) ,” Go said.
The senator said the President would make good on his plan because he has done it recently. “Noong nakaraan nga, ’yung limang atleta, including Hidilyn Diaz at ’yung gold medalist sa gymnastics (Carlos Yulo), binigyan niya ng separate incentives( in the past, five athletes, including Hidalyn Diaz and the gold medalist in gymnastics, were given separate incentives).”
In a meet-and-greet with the President in Malacañang on October 16, recent gold medalists Yulo, Ernest Obiena (pole vault), and Nesthy Petecio (boxing) received P1 million each, while silver medalist Eumir Marcial (boxing) and bronze medalist Diaz (weightlifting) received P500,000 each.
The rewards were given in addition to what the five athletes received under Republic Act 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.
Go clarified, however, that the President has not mentioned the amount for the SEA Games medalists. “Wala pa pong binibigay na amount ang Pangulo (The President has not mentioned any amount),” he said.
The senator added that the President was considering giving the Order of Lapu-Lapu awards to winning athletes. “I cannot speak on behalf of the President, pero nabanggit niya sa akin na bibigyan niya ng Lapu-Lapu award ang mga mananalo (I cannot speak on behalf of the President, but he mentioned to me that he will give Lapu-Lapu award for the winners),” Go said.
The President created the Order of Lapu-Lapu in 2017 to be conferred on individuals who have significant contributions to the administration’s advocacies.