It must have felt like home for Olympic medalists Hidilyn Diaz and Eumir Felix Marcial after they finally received the keys to their very own house and lot in their hometown in Zamboanga City, it was revealed Monday, Sept. 6.
The housing units, which were pledged by President Duterte, were turned over to Diaz and Marcial by the National Housing Authority (NHA), Armed Forces of the Philippines Real Estate Office (AFP-REO), and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) in a ceremony held last Sept. 2.
The house and lot units were situated in Diaz and Marcial’s hometown in Zamboanga City, specifically in Cabaluay Place, Sitio Catumbal, Barangay Cabaluay.
Lt. Col. Reginald Ephraim Linga, chief of the AFP-REO Housing Manegement Division, said they coordinated with the NHA and PSC to fasttrack the construction of the house and lot units for the Olympians, who are also military reservists.
The weightlifter and boxer superstars are part of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) with ranks staff sergeant (SSgt.) and sergeant (Sgt.), respectively.
“We have been working hand in hand with the NHA and PSC to facilitate the awarding of these housing units to the AFP and our country’s pride, SSgt. Diaz and Sgt. Marcial,” Linga said.
Aside from the house and lot, the Olympians earlier received cash, housing units, cars, Presidential citations, and other rewards worth multi-million in recognition of their feat.
Diaz and Marcial are among the four Olympic medalists in the recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics held in Japan. Diaz brought home the country’s first Olympic gold medal while Marcial bagged a bronze medal.
Two others Olympians, boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, both won the silver medal and received multi-million peso worth of rewards from the government. Petecio and Paalam are enlisted personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine Navy, respectively.