PSC to give additional P5 million incentive to Diaz

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here. (PSC Instagram)

The cash incentives continue to come to Hidilyn Diaz's way.

The 30-year-old weightlifter is set to receive an additional P5 million from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for her record-setting achievement in winning the gold medal in the 55-kilogram category of women’s weightlifting last Monday, July 26 in the Tokyo Olympics.

Diaz set an Olympic record during the competition, her total of 224kgs as well as 127kgs in clean and jerk, which she lifted on her third and final attempt that gave the Zamboanga City native the gold medal.

It was the first gold medal for the Philippines in 97 years or since the country’s first participation in the Olympics during the 1924 edition of the Summer Games in Paris, France.

Under Republic Act (RA) 10699, or the expanded incentives act, national team athletes who surpass Philippine record or ranking in any measurable international sports competition shall be given cash incentives.

The amount of which may be determined by the PSC, the government sports agency chaired by William “Butch” Ramirez.

PSC officer-in-charge, Commissioner Celia Kiram confirmed the additional cash incentive, which has already been approved, signed and ready for release to Diaz, who returned last Wednesday.

The said additional cash reward is separate from what Diaz is set to receive also from the government through the PSC under RA 10699, or the law that gives P10 million for gold medal winners in the Olympics.

With this development, Diaz now has a total cash incentive of P48.5 million.

The MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) of telecommunication mogul Manny V. Pangilinan has approved P10 million for Filipino gold medal winners, the same amount that San Miguel Corporation (SMC) of Ramon S. Ang said it would give a few days before the Tokyo Olympics.

Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero also pledged an additional P3 million for gold medalists, while Diaz’s home province of Zamboanga City reportedly would provide P2.5 million.

The Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation Inc. headed by presidential sports adviser Dennis Uy has promised to give Diaz P5 million and lifetime free fuel from Phoenix Petroleum.

Following her arrival, President Rodrigo Duterte also informed Diaz in a virtual meeting that he would give her an additional P3 million reward.

Aside from the cash rewards, Diaz has also been promised to receive P14 million worth of condominium from Megaworld at the posh Eastwood City in Quezon City, while AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandez announced that the company is awarding her lifetime free flights under the 5-year unlimited flights within the AirAsia route network.

The management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) also said that it would give Diaz 80,0000 of free miles per year, thus becoming the country’s top airline company’s first "forever flyer".