Dragon boaters’ triumph not covered by incentives
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.
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.
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.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is said to be serious about a rematch with archrival Manny Pacquiao, but not serious enough to want to hold the fight this December.
Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza, who’s in discussion with Mayweather and his advisers Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe, says he expects the match to occur at “some point early in 2019.”
Mayweather posted on his Instagram account that he wants Pac-May 2 to happen this December to take the headline away from Canelo Alvarez and Gennary Golovkin on the day of their rematch in Las Vegas.
Floyd may have been grabbing attention because of the timing of the rematch announcement. But Espinoza told Boxingscene.com that he thinks Floyd, having talks with boxing’s shakers and movers, “is definitely serious.”
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