In behalf of Duterte, Go assures bigger bonanza for gold

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More financial incentives await Filipino medalists from the Tokyo Olympics.

Senator Christopher “Bong’’ Go assured on Sunday that President Duterte will reward medal-winning athletes with additional cash bonuses on top of what has already been provided for by the law.

“I’m sure President Duterte is ready to give cash incentives to our athletes who will win medals [in the Olympics],’’ said Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports.

Duterte normally hands out added monetary rewards to medal-performing Filipino athletes in high-level tournaments such as the Olympics, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games.

When weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz captured a silver medal in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, Duterte gave her another P2 million aside from the P5 million Diaz got from the government under Republic Act (RA) No. 10699, otherwise known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.

“It would be risky for the President to travel to Tokyo and be there for our athletes. But I assure you that we are throwing our all-out support to our Olympic campaign,’’ said Go, Duterte’s long-time special assistant before he became senator in 2019.The supplementary pledge from the Office of the President will jack up the value of an Olympic gold medal, which is now worth at least P30 million following the incentive guarantee from both the government and the private sector.

Team Philippines will send 19 athletes from 11 sports to the Olympics, all of them seeking to end the country’s hunt for its first-ever gold medal in the global quadrennial sports fest.

No Filipino athlete has brought home a gold medal since Team Philippines first sent a delegation to the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Apart from the P10-million reward for an Olympic gold under RA No. 10699, gold performers will receive P10 million each from the MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC)Silver winners will take home P5 million from the government plus another P10 million from the two private corporations while a bronze is worth P6 million after the MVPSF and SMC doubled the P2 million incentive under the law. INQ

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