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Duterte honors Tokyo Games heroes; commits support to PH athletes

President Duterte presents incentives to first Filipino Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in an awarding ceremony in Malacañang on August 23, 2021 (RTVM Screenshot)

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte on Monday assured Filipino athletes of the government’s full support as he honored not only those who won but also competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Duterte made the statement as he led the awarding ceremony for Filipino Olympians in Malacañang.

In his speech, the President thanked the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for their unwavering support and strong efforts in securing that Filipino athletes were ready to compete at the Olympics.

He said that the government will continue supporting Filipino athletes.

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

“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.

Honoring the Olympians

President Duterte lauded the Filipino Olympians for bringing pride and honor to the country despite the challenges they faced.

 “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,” he said.

“Your hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics are truly inspiring,” he added.

Duterte expressed confidence that the athletes will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future, and will inspire the youth to get into sports.

“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 said.

Awards

The first Filipino Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz received the following:

P10 million from the PSC

P5 million from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)

P3 million from the Office of the President (OP)

The Presidential Medal of Merit

Certificate of turnover for a housing unit

President Duterte has pledged to Diaz P3 million and a fully furnished house in her hometown of Zamboanga City for bringing home the country’s first Olympic Gold medal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on July 26.

Aside from the incentives to be given to them under the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, the other Filipino Olympians who brought home medals received the following:

Carlo Paalam (Silver medal), additional P2 million

Nesthy Petecio (Silver medal), additional P2 million

Eumir Marcial (Bronze medal), additional P1 million

The three likewise received the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi medal.

The other non-medal athletes who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics received P200,000.

President Duterte also awarded boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco P500,000 and the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi medal for taking home a Silver medal from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Early this month, Malacañang said it would look into possible incentives for Velasco after the latter revealed that he was not able to receive all the incentives pledged to him when he won his Silver medal.

Japan

Meanwhile, President Duterte congratulated Japan for the successful hosting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He also wished that their hosting of the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo will also become a resounding success.

The Philippines has sent six delegates to compete in the Paralympic Games. However, it was reported that one of them, along with some coaches and officials, tested positive for COVID-19.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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