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Dragon boaters’ triumph not covered by incentives

/ 05:10 AM October 05, 2018

Philippine Sports Commission Chair William Ramirez was matter-of-factly and straight to the point while answering the burning question of the day.

Ramirez says Filipino national paddlers who ruled last month’s Dragon Boat World Championship in the United States  are not entitled to cash incentives.

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The team came home triumphant several days ago with five gold and two silver medals from the 13-nation meet held at Lake Lanier in Gainsville, Georgia.

Amid the backdrop of Filipino podium finishers in the recent Asian Games being awarded millions of pesos in bonuses by the PSC, by President Duterte himself and some wealthy individuals, the team  asked the sports funding agency to grant them monetary rewards as well.

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But Ramirez was sorry to disappoint the team members belonging to the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation who went on to redeem themselves in the worlds after scoring zilch at the Asiad in Indonesia.

That’s because they triumphed in an event that does not belong to a listing of international sports contests purposely enumerated under RA 10699, also known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.

RA 10699’s roster of international sports competitions that “bring honor and recognition to the country” includes, among others, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Asian Games, Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Youth Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, and Asean Para Games.

Also listed among competitions that provide victorious Filipino national athletes, including persons with disabilities, “benefits and incentives” are biennial world level championships participated in by at least 45 countries; biennial Asian continental tournaments where at least 25 countries are competing; and qualifying competitions for world-level games contested by at least 10 countries.

“The Dragon Boat victory is not covered by the cash incentive act (RA 10699),” Ramirez confirmed to me.

He said, however, that the PSC Board will hold a regular meeting next Tuesday, where “we can initiate a token incentive.”

Ramirez did not elaborate.

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TAGS: Dragon Boat World Championship, Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation, Philippine Sports Commission, William Ramirez
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