Almost P12 million worth of cash incentives will be given out by the government through the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to the medalists of the 11th ASEAN Para Games (APG) held in Solo, Indonesia, recently.
Eighty Filipino para-athletes from nine (9) sports namely; archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, chess, judo, powerlifting, swimming, and table tennis were mission accomplished in APG winning a total of 104 medals - 28 gold, 30 silver, and 46 bronzes, good for a fifth-place finish overall in the 11-nation showpiece.
It was the best performance recorded by the country since the 2009 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with 24 gold, 24 silver, and 26 bronzes.
Under Republic Act No. 10699 or the Expanded National Athletes and Coaches Incentives and Benefits Act, gold, silver, and bronze medalists from the ASEAN Para Games are entitled to receive cash incentives worth P150,000, P75,000, and P30,000, respectively.
“Our para-athletes showcased their grit and hunger for success in the APG. The support of the Filipino people provided through the PSC are truly reciprocated.” PSC Officer-in-Charge and Executive Director Atty. Guillermo Iroy, Jr. said.
FIDE Master Sander Severino of the national para chess team, who has the distinction of being the most bemedalled Filipino athlete in the Games shall receive P500,000 cash reward after winning 4 gold and 2 silver medals in individual and team categories. Para swimmers Angel Otom and Ariel Joseph Alegarbes will get P450,000 each for their medal-winning performance of 3 golds apiece. Paralympian Ernie Gawilan gets P382,500 for his 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
“We hope that this reward will give them an extra morale boost to keep reaching for their dreams. We thank all our national para-athletes for all their sacrifices and taking pride in raising our flag here and in their coming competitions,” Iroy said.
Deputy Chef de Mission Tricia Rana credits the support of the PSC in the success of the team. The PSC has given para-athletes equal benefits, allowances, and incentives with regular athletes, which they see as one of the biggest morale boosters.
“Aside from the determination of our athletes, plus nag-inspire sa kanila to give honor and to give back to what the government through the Philippine Sports Commission is giving them. Malaking tulong po talaga ang ginawa ng PSC," said DCDM Rana.
The PSC is already arranging the courtesy call with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. when the incentives awarding is also planned to be held.