ILOILO CITY – If Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz comes to Iloilo City, she is entitled to lifetime free accommodation during the annual Dinagyang Festival as well as unlimited free batchoy and pancit molo—two of Iloilo’s most popular soup-based dishes.
“The metro welcomes her with the utmost hospitality and love. She will surely enjoy these!” said Mayor Jerry Treñas in a statement.
“Iloilo City takes pride in the recognition of Hidilyn Diaz in making a name for the Philippines in the weightlifting category,” Treñas added.
This is the latest in the long list of offers for the 30-year-old athlete who gave the country’s its first gold medal in the Olympics with her win of the 55kg weightlifting competition at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
It is unclear how Iloilo City government will implement what the mayor has promised to Diaz.
Treñas has yet to issue an executive order while no legislative move has been made by the Iloilo City Council.
While Treñas’ gesture was welcomed, there are others who expressed that the city government can do something else more practical for local athletes.
“What if instead of unlimited batchoy and pancit molo, the Iloilo City government should initiate a project called Hidilyn Diaz Athlete Foundation?” said lawyer R Leone “Boots” Gerochi, who is a former city councilor.
Gerochi suggested that there should be a program that can find funding to support the training and equipment for local athletes of Iloilo City.