Filipino para-athletes get cash incentives
FILIPINO athletes with disability, who won in the 8th Asean Para Games in December last year, have finally received their cash incentives as provided for under Republic Act 10699 or an Act Expanding the Coverage of Incentives Granted to National Athletes and Coaches, Senator Sonny Angara said on Monday.
Angara, author of the law and chairman of the Senate committee on games, amusement and sports, along with the Philippine Sports Commission headed by its chairman Richard Garcia, and the Philippine Sports Association for Disabled Athletes headed by its president Mike Barredo, led the awarding of incentives last week to the Para Games medalists at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Philippine team bagged 59 medals—16 gold, 17 silver, and 26 bronze —from the 8th Asean Para Games in Singapore. Angara said the members of the team were entitled to a total of P6.8 million in cash incentives.
“It’s high time we properly recognize the triumphs of our outstanding differently-abled athletes who have been heaping medals and bringing pride and honor to the country,” he said in a statement.
“This is truly a memorable occasion as this is the first batch of national para-athletes who will be receiving bigger, well-deserved incentives under the new athletes incentives law which we—all the stakeholders and our colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives, namely Congressman Anthony Del Rosario, Congressman Wes Gatchalian and Congressman Yeng Guiao—worked hard to pass,” Angara added.
Angara said that under the new law, Asean Para Games gold medalists will get P150,000 each, the silver medalists P75,000 each, and the bronze medalists P30,000 each, while the coaches stand to get cash incentives equivalent to half of the amount the winning athletes will receive.
Prior to the enactment of RA 10699, he said, winning differently-abled athletes were granted only token incentives. In 2010, gold medalists received P15,000 while silver and bronze medal winners earned P10,000 and P5,000 respectively.
Aside from the recognition of athletes with disability as national athletes, the senator said the new law also updates and raises the cash incentives—amount of which were mostly doubled—awarded to winning athletes and coaches.
“The term ‘national athletes’ should encompass all athletes including those who are differently-abled. Tayong lahat ay saksi sa kanilang paulit-ulit na patunay na hindi naging hadlang ang kanilang limitasyon sa pagbibigay ng dangal at karangalan sa bansa,” Angara said.
The senator has also worked for the passage of a bill, exempting persons with disability from value-added tax. It is now awaiting the President’s signature.