Ramon Ang also pledges incentives for PH Tokyo medalists

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FILE — SMC president Ramon S. Ang at the victory party for the San Miguel Beermen. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Business tycoon Ramon S. Ang has just driven up the value of a gold medal in the coming Tokyo Olympics to P30 million.

But while Philippine Olympic Committee president Rep. Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino profusely thanked the generosity of the San Miguel Corporation big boss, the POC chief believes more monetary pledges will surface for medal-winning Filipino athletes.

“The cash incentive for an Olympic gold medal could reach up to P50 million, which is equivalent to $1 million in other countries,’’ Tolentino told sportswriters during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum on Tuesday.

Ang matched the commitment made by MVP Sports Foundation of Manny V. Pangilinan and the government incentives based on Republic Act 10699, raising the cash bonanza to P30 million for gold medalists.

“I believe there will be more commitments from the private sector in the coming days, especially when our athletes already won those medals,’’ said Tolentino in the weekly forum backed by San Miguel Corporation, Go For Gold, Pagcor, Milo, Smart, Amelie Hotel and Braska.

Known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, RA 10699 rewards P10 million for gold medalists, P5 million for silver-medal performers and P2 million for a bronze-medal effort.

Tolentino said he wrote and called several more private companies to make a pitch for the cash bonuses of the 19 athletes who will see action in the Tokyo Summer Games on July 23-August 8.

He added that Tagaytay City, where Tolentino was a former mayor, has pledged a house and lot for a golden performance.

“I’ll just wait for them to come forward. These commitments will inspire our athletes to work harder as they aim to win those medals,’’ said Tolentino.

Financial rewards poured in when weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz claimed a silver medal in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics as well as when boxer Mansueto `”Onyok’’ Velasco got the same medal color in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The Philippines has never won a gold medal since Filipino athletes began participating in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

Team Philippines has good looks at the elusive gold in Tokyo with world champions Carlos Yulo of gymnastics and Nesthy Petecio of boxing together with golfer Yuka Saso, boxer Eumir Marcial, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and Diaz expected to churn out high-performance outputs.

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