Palace to look for ways to hike allowances of Filipino athletes
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will look into plans to increase the allowances of national team athletes to further help and support them in their bid for gold medals, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bagged the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal after winning the women’s 55-kilo weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
It can be recalled that Diaz having to ask for financial support for her to be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, even mulling to ask for aid from private companies.
Roque said he recognizes the plight of the country’s athletes, who count on “minimum wage” allowances to make a living as they train for global sporting events, adding that Diaz’s win should be a “game changer” for Philippine sports.
“Alam ko na kulang, para nga pong minimum wage ang nabibigay na allowance doon sa mga atleta natin. Titingnan natin kung paano natin mababago ito lalo na’t nakikita natin na ganung kulang talaga ang suporta pa rin natin, pero nananalo pa rin ng ginto,” he said in a press briefing in Zambales.
(I know that it’s lacking. It is almost minimum wage. We will see how we can change this especially when we see that the athletes still manage to bring home the gold even though their allowances are not enough.)
“Siguro mas maraming mananalo ng ginto kung medyo itataas natin ‘yung tulong na ibibigay natin sa mga atleta. I think itong victory na ito is also a game changer for Philippine sports,” he added.
(Maybe more athletes will be able to win gold medals if we can increase the help we give them. I think this victory is also a game changer for Philippine sports.)
Diaz’s victory should make the country’s policy-makers realize that athletes need support, Roque said.