MANILA — National athletes and coaches winning in international competition can now expect additional allowances and incentives after it was approved by both house of Congress.
Alay Buhay Party-list Rep. Wes Gatchalian chairman of the House committee on Youth and Sports Development, said they had reconciled and approved in the Bicameral Conference Committee the conflicting version of House Bill 5912 and Senate Bill 2898.
“I am pleased that after almost 12 years, the measure proposing to increase the incentives and benefits of athletes and coaches winning in international competitions has finally been approved in the bicameral committee level, subject to ratification by both houses. It is only now in the 16th congress that a bill on sports had been passed of which previous Congresses have failed to do” Gatchalian said.
In a text message, Gatchalian said that once ratified by both Houses, it will be considered enrolled bill and awaiting for President Benigno Aquino III’s signature to become a law.
The young solon said the bill would also expand its benefits to include athletes with disabilities in accordance with the law on “Magna Carta for Disabled Persons”.
Under the approved bicameral conference version adopted last Sept. 3, 2015, national athletes recognized and accredited by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), who won gold, silver, and bronze medals in international sports competitions shall be entitled to cash awards.
Gold medalists will receive Php10 million for Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Php5 million for Youth and Paralympic Games, Php2 million for Asian Games.
Silver medalists will receive Php5 million for Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Php2.5 million for Youth and Paralympic Games; Php1 million for Asian Games.
Bronze medalists shall receive Php2 million for Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Php1 million for Youth and Paralympic Games; Php400,000 for Asian Games.
Furthermore, coaches of national athletes shall also be entitled to cash awards the same that the winning athlete gets..
The measure also provides 20 percent discount from selected establishments such as transportation services, restaurants, medicines, medical and dental consultations from government hospitals, coverage from National Health Insurance Program and scholarship from state universities and colleges and from TESDA.
“Representing the country in sports competitions is a tall order and due recognition should be extended to our hardworking athletes for the honor and sacrifice that they bring to the country. Just like our OFWs, our national athletes are our modern-day heroes who bring pride and glory to the nation” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“We should instead be nurturing and assisting our athletes to motivate them further to excel” he pointed out.
Joining the panel chairman is the main author of the bill Davao del Norte Rep. Anthony Del Rosario, while their Senate counterpart is headed by Senator Sonny Angara.