Solons ratify bill broadening incentives and benefits to PH athletes
A bill that seeks to broaden the coverage of incentives and improve the benefits granted to national athletes, coaches and trainers is now a step closer to becoming a law after it was ratified by both houses of Congress, Senator Sonny Angara said on Friday.
Angara, chairman of the committee on games, amusement and sports, said the bill known as the National Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act, will be sent to President Benigno Aquino III for signature.
“The smooth passage of this bill in Congress proves that lawmakers agree that our national athletes deserve proper recognition and assistance for their perseverance and the honor they bring to our country. This will be sent to the President for his signature and I’m sure he will not hesitate in signing this measure,” Angara said in a statement on Friday.
Under the proposed measure, the amount of cash incentives given to winning athletes, coaches and trainers will be increased, while athletes with disabilities will be included in the grant of benefits and incentives for their achievements.
For the Olympic Games, the gold medalists will be granted P10 million, the silver medalists P5 million, and the bronze medalists P2 million each, while for the Asian Games, the gold medalists will be entitled to P2 million cash incentives, the silver medalists P1 million, and the bronze medalists P400,000 each.
As for the Southeast Asian Games, the gold medalists will get P300,000, the silver medalists P150,000, and the bronze medalists P60,000 each.
“The term ‘national athletes’ should also encompass all athletes including those who are differently-abled. Their limitations did not stand in their way, and we have witnessed how these individuals push the limits to bring pride to the country,” Angara said.
The bill also seeks to grant every national athlete, coach and trainer 20-percent discount on transportation, hotels and other lodging establishments, restaurants, and purchase of medicine and sports equipment for their actual and exclusive use.
Winning national athletes, under the bill, will also be entitled to scholarship benefits in the form of full tuition fees in state colleges and universities. Maila Ager/RAM
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