The strength of the Filipino spirit came came out when Filipino athletes competed and won medals during the 32nd Southeast Asian Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said this on Wednesday when he presented cash incentives, which he doubled, to the medalists of the SEA Games and and Para Games in a ceremony held at the Malacañang Palace.
“The most important thing that we demonstrated, the you demonstrated as you competed in the Games, was to show the strength of the Filipino spirit, the grace of the Filipino character, and the passion of the Filipino heart,” said Marcos.
The government cash incentives, which were supposed to amount to P74 million, was doubled by Marcos through the Office of the President.
A total of amount of P60 million was originally prepared for the winning athletes, aside from the P14 million for Para Games medalists and in accordance with Republic Act 10699, or the Expanded National Athletes and Coaches Incentives and Benefits Act.
“Over the past few months, we have celebrated the Philippines’ successful campaign in the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games. The pride that every Filipino felt in every game, and in every medal won, witnessing the flag raised in a every medal ceremony brought us all together as a country,” said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard Bachman.
Medalists in the SEAG got P300,000 for gold winner, P150,000 for silver and P60,000 for bronze, while for the ASEAN Para Games, the incentives are P150,000 (gold), P75,000 (silver) and P30,000 (bronze).
Philippine Olympic Committee resident Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino thanked President Marcos Jr. for reiterating his full support to Filipino athletes and Philippine sports in general.
“President Marcos Jr. welcoming the athletes in Malacanang and personally handing them their incentives is more than enough of a strong gesture of his strong belief and confidence in our athletes,” Tolentino said.
The country won 58 golds, 85 silvers and 117 bronzes in the SEA Games to surpass its 52-70-105 haul in Vietnam last year and place fifth overall.
World champion Carlos Edriel Yulo bagged two golds and two silver medals for the gymnastics team, which also won two bronze medals to become the winningest medallist of the games with at least P900,000 to his name.
This does not include the bonuses he also got from the POC, the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, and the added windfall from Malacanang.
In the ASEAN Para Games, the country collected 34 golds, 33 silvers and 50 bronze medals to duplicate its fifth-place finish last year in Indonesia.
Chess produced the 13 gold medals — six from Darry Bernardo, five from Cheyzer Mendoza and two from Sander Severino, while swimmer Angel Mae Otom captured four gold medals.
“Committing more incentives to the athletes shows that his heart and passion go with Filipino athletes,” said Tolentino.
The POC chief added that the President showed pure concern for the athletes by addressing not only their efforts but also the sacrifices made by their team and support group—from their coaches and trainers and more importantly, to their families.
“President Marcos’s support to the athletes goes far, wide and deep. And I was touched by the fact that our President even praised the drivers who bring our athletes to and from their training and competition venues. That’s heart,” said Tolentino.