President Duterte met by videoconference Monday with four of the country’s boxers who participated in the Tokyo Olympics, three of whom brought home medals: two silver and one bronze.
“It is not an everyday occurrence that we receive such an honor from our citizens of the Republic of the Philippines. You went to Tokyo to fight and I say you did your best and the Filipino people appreciate it, especially [for your] bringing honor to the country, ”Duterte said.
“Go to your provinces and share your glory with your friends and family,” he told Carlo Paalam, Nesthy Petecio, Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno.
The president said that in addition to the incentives of the law, his office would give P2 million each to Paalam and Petecio, who pocketed silver medals, and P1 million to Marcial, who won a bronze.
“You can get married now. You already have the money for that, ”Duterte said jokingly.
The medalists would also receive the Order of Lapu-Lapu for bringing honor to the country, he added. As for the other athletes who were part of the Olympic delegation, they would each receive P200,000 plus a presidential mention.
In a briefing earlier in the day, Malacañang took some of the credit for the country’s best performance so far at the Olympics. In addition to two silver and one bronze medals, the Philippines also earned its first gold medal through powerlifter Hidilyn Diaz.
Even when presidential spokesman Harry Roque thanked the athletes, their coaches, coaches and mentors for their performance, he noted that it was not a coincidence that the Philippines won its first gold medal with Duterte.
“The figures will confirm me. Our president really invested in our athletes. For the first time, we provided record financial support to our athletes and we have seen the fruits of such investment, ”he said.
Of the Philippine Sports Commission’s 2020 budget allocation of P945 million, P500 million was earmarked for the preparation and training of athletes for the Tokyo Olympics and the Asean Para Games.
The commission had a much larger budget of P5.36 billion in 2019, but most of it, or P5 billion, went to the country’s headquarters for the Southeast Asian Games, while P100 million was allocated for training and preparation. of local athletes.
Despite large allocations, Díaz posted on social media in 2019 a call for financial support from the private sector to achieve his goal of winning a gold medal at the Olympics. This was after the Palace included her in an array of people who were supposedly plotting to overthrow the president.
Shortly after Diaz’s victory, Roque also acknowledged that athletes do not receive sufficient financial support from the government and are pleased with their minimum wage allowances.
In the House of Representatives, the “Hidilyn Díaz bill” that exempts “from each and every one of the taxes” the incentives, rewards and bonuses granted to national athletes and their coaches who win in international sports competitions is one more step to become law.
The Ways and Means Commission approved this Monday the replacement bill that consolidates four measures and seeks to reform the Law of the Republic No. 10699, or the National Law of Benefits and Incentives for Athletes and Coaches.
It proposes that rewards, bonuses and other forms of remuneration for national athletes and coaches who join or win in international sports competitions be exempt from all taxes, fees and charges.
It also states that donations for incentives and rewards “shall be considered allowable deductions from gross income for the purposes of calculating the donor’s taxable income.”
The bill will cover all bonuses and other rewards awarded to Diaz and the other athletes and coaches who won medals at the Olympics.
The House panel took less than two weeks to consolidate and pass the replacement measure that will now go to plenary deliberations.
It is expected to pass quickly on second and third reading as a measure sponsored primarily by President Lord Allan Velasco.
—WITH REPORTS FROM JULIE M. AURELIO AND INQUIRY RESEARCH INQ
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