Wushu star and Southeast Asian Games champion Agatha Wong felt glad that her suggestion for the implementation of Republic Act No. 10699 has been acted upon.
The full implementation of the law, which is known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001, is expected to be put in place by March 2020.
But, as of Monday, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has already directed all business owners operating in the city to comply with the law.
“I am surprised. I did not expect my tweet to go this viral, and my voice to be heard that much. Eh, iyung iba kong kasama, their voices were heard. Now, I am glad that there is awareness,” said Wong in a radio interview.
The law grants 20 percent discount to all qualified national athletes, coaches, and trainers of the country on restaurants, hotels and other business establishments.
With Moreno’s order, the Bureau of Permits of the Manila local government unit sent a letter to all business owners, administrators and operators in the city to follow the Republic Act No. 10699.
“Please be informed that all business owners/administrators/operators in the city of Manila are directed to follow the above stated R.A. 10699 which grants a 20 percent discount to all qualified national athletes, coaches and trainers in the country,” the letter read.
Last Saturday Wong expressed hope, in a Twitter post on Saturday evening, after she and her family had dinner at a restaurant.
While there, Wong said the establishment took a while before they realized that RA 10699 existed.
Wong said she presented an identification card, which was questioned by the manager of the restaurant.
She and family waited for a long time, while grandmother presented her case.
It was only when they have fully paid the bill and her grandmother had left, when the manager approached her, and gave the Wong family a rebate.
“The main issue here, I wanted to tell my fellow athletes of the disadvantage of waiting so long just for your rights to be known. It’s a hassle. It keeps your time, and its time consuming,” said Wong.
She is hopeful that Quezon City and the rest of the country could follow suit soon.
The full implementation of the Republic Act 10699 is expected to happen in the first quarter of the coming year.
The implementing rules and regulations of the Act, which gives discounts and other benefits to national athletes, is now being studied by both the Philippine Sports Commission and the Bureau of Internal Revenues.
PSC chairman William Ramirez said he expects an IRR to be issued and implemented by the first quarter of 2020.
And this involved sections 4 and 5 of the Act.
There are eight major benefits covered by the Act.
Among the first is the granting “of a twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of transportation services, hotels and other lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine and sports equipment anywhere in the country.”
And this is for the actual and exclusive use or enjoyment of the national athletes and coaches.