House panel approves bills granting benefits to world champion Filipino athletes

Published November 29, 2021, 3:33 PM

by Melvin Sarangay

The House Committee on Youth and Sports Development, chaired by Isabela 5th District Rep. Faustino Michael Dy III, approved the bill granting retirement, health care, and death benefits to retirement, health care, and death benefits to professional Filipino athletes who won awards in international sports events on Monday, Nov. 22.

The committee gave its approval to House Bills 1962 and 9338 which grant retirement, health care, and death benefits to professional athletes who win world championship titles in international professional sports competitions or in other equally prestigious international games.

The said measures were introduced by Reps. Manuel Cabochan III of Magdalo Partylist and Joy Myra Tambunting of Parañaque City which will now be consolidated into a substitute bill. The House committee members present during the hearing were named co-authors of the said bill.

The Games and Amusement Board (GAB), represented by its chairman Abraham Mitra and Legal Division Chief lawyer Ermar Benitez, gave its approval to the said bills and noted that pro sports athletes who gave honors to the country should receive benefits from the government.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), who was represented by Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, gave its nod for the said House measures. Fernandez also called for the retirement age of the athletes to be not more than 50 years old.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) called for a special law for national athletes who will receive the said benefits that will be subsidized by the government and PSC.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), on the other hand, cited the need to include a healthcare benefit package or special benefit package for Filipino athletes.

The panel also approved the retroactive death benefit of the athletes. It also directed the GAB to report to the Office of the President with regards to the athletes’ retirement benefits.

The committee, meanwhile, approved the House Resolutions 2188, 2205, and 2224 commending pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena for winning the silver medal at the IAAF Diamond League last August 28 in Paris, France and the gold medal at the 17th International Golden Roof Challenge held in Austria on September 11.