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Olympians back home, get honors from gov’t

Photo of the PSC

President Duterte met by video conference Monday with four of the country’s boxers who competed in the Tokyo Olympics, three of whom won medals, two silvers and one bronze.

“It is not a daily occurrence that we receive such honor from our citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. You went to Tokyo to fight and I say you did your best and the Filipinos appreciate it especially [for your] bring honor to the country, ”said Mr. Duterte.

“Go home to your provinces and share your glory with your friends and family,” he told Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.

The president said that in addition to the incentives provided by law, his office would give 2 million pesos each to Paalam and Petecio, who won silver medals, and 1 million pesos to Marcial, who won a medal. bronze.

“You can get married already. You already have the money for it, ”Mr. Duterte joked.

The medalists will also receive the Order of Lapu-Lapu for bringing honor to the country, he added. As for the other athletes forming part of the Olympic delegation, they would each obtain 200,000 P in addition to a presidential citation.

Partial credit

During a briefing earlier today, Malacañang took part of the credit for the country’s best performance so far at the Olympics. In addition to the two silver medals and one bronze, the Philippines also won their first gold medal thanks to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz.

Although presidential spokesman Harry Roque thanked the athletes, their coaches, coaches and mentors for their performance, he stressed that it was no coincidence that the Philippines secured their first gold medal under Mr. Duterte. .

“The numbers will confirm me. Our president has really invested in our athletes. For the first time, we have provided record financial support to our athletes and we have seen the fruits of such an investment, ”he said.

Of the Philippine Sports Commission 2020 budget allocation of 945 million pesos, 500 million pesos was for the preparation and training of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics and the ASEAN Para Games.

The commission had a much larger budget of 5.36 billion pesos in 2019, but the bulk, or 5 billion pesos, was for the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games, while 100 million pesos were allocated for the training and preparation of local athletes.

Despite the big allocations, Diaz posted on social media in 2019 a call for financial support from the private sector to achieve his goal of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. This was after the palace included her in a matrix of people believed to be plotting to overthrow the president.

Shortly after Diaz’s victory, Roque also acknowledged that athletes were not receiving enough financial support from the government and compared their allowances to minimum wage.

In the House of Representatives, the “Hidilyn Diaz Bill” exempting “from all taxes” the incentives, rewards and bonuses granted to national athletes and their coaches who win in international sports competitions is a further step towards the law.

The Ways and Means Committee on Monday approved the replacement bill which consolidated four measures and aims to amend Republic Law No. 10699, or the National Law on Benefits and Incentives for Athletes and Coaches.

It proposes that rewards, bonuses and other forms of remuneration for national athletes and coaches who participate or win in international sports competitions be exempt from all taxes, fees and charges.

It also provides that donations for incentives and rewards “shall be considered eligible deductions from gross income for the purposes of calculating the taxable income of the donor.”

The invoice will cover all bonuses and other rewards given to Diaz and other athletes and coaches who have won medals at the Olympics.

It took less than two weeks for the House panel to consolidate and approve the surrogate measure which will now be discussed in plenary.

It is expected to be quickly approved at second and third reading as a measure mainly sponsored by President Lord Allan Velasco.

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