Duterte awards incentives to Filipino Olympic medalists, participants

GOLDEN GIRL. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte confers the Presidential Medal of Merit to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who won the country’s first gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, during the awarding of incentives to Filipino Olympians at the Malacañang Palace on Monday, August 23. Diaz also received PHP15 million from the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from the National Housing Authority and PHP3 million from the Office of the President.| Malacañang photo by Toto Lozano

PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has honored his pledge to reward the Filipino athletes who represented the country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

During a ceremony in Malacañang on Monday, August 23, the chief executive awarded cash incentives to weightlifter and gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, boxers and silver medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, and boxer and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial.

“I congratulate you once again for bringing pride and honor to the country and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Your hard work, dedication and sportsmanship even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics are truly inspiring,” Duterte said in his speech.

“I am confident you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future. Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and our Filipino youth to channel their energies into sports and other productive activities, keeping them away from the harmful vices,” he added.

For being the first athlete to bring an Olympic gold to the Philippines, Diaz received P10 million from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), P5 million from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., P3 million from the Office of the President (OP), a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from the National Housing Authority (NHA), and a presidential medal of merit.

Petecio and Paalam each received P5 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA, and P2 million from the OP.

Meanwhile, Marcial received P2 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA, and P1 million from the OP.

In addition, the three athletes received the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi medal.

Duterte also awarded Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco P500,000 and the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi medal for his silver finish during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The President expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Olympic Committee and the PSC for ensuring that the country’s 19-athlete delegate were ready to compete in the Summer Games. He also vowed to continue supporting Filipino athletes.

“Rest assured that the government remains committed to providing full support to our Filipino athletes,” said Duterte.

“In this regard, I enjoin the PSC, POC, and other sports bodies to continue providing much-needed assistance to keep our athletes on top of their game and help them become all-time greats,” he added.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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