MANILA, Philippines – If government gives them a chance, indigenous peoples and out-of-school youth can be the country’s next award-winning athletes.
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s message during a ceremony awarding cash prizes to Southeast Asian (SEA) Games athletes on Wednesday, September 13.
“I enjoin the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) to widen its scope and recruit nationwide. Look for them in non-traditional places and include members of the indigenous tribes and the out-of-school youth,” he said during the ceremony held in Malacañang.
“Let us give them a chance to hone their talent and live up to their fullest potentials,” he added.
Duterte was speaking in front of over 80 athletes who won medals for the Philippines at this year’s SEA Games.
During the ceremony, the President handed cash prizes for them and their coaches.
The cash incentives come from the PSC as mandated by Republic Act 10699 or the National Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act.
Gold medalists received P300,000 each, silver medalists P150,000 each, and bronze medalists P75,000 each.
However, athletes in teams with more than 5 members divide the cash prize among themselves.
The government gave a total of P18.04 million to the athletes and P7.2 million to their coaches.
In addition to the government’s cash incentives, Duterte campaign contributor and now Presidential Adviser on Sports Dennis Uy also had something to offer the country’s athletes.
He gave out P50,000 each to gold medalists, P30,000 each to silver medalists, and P10,000 to bronze medalists.
Uy, a sports fan, is the president and chief executive officer of Phoenix Petroleum and a good friend of Duterte’s. (READ: Dennis Uy, Duterte’s friend, creates P100-M mutual fund for gov’t troops) – Rappler.com
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