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FACT CHECK: PH presidents even before Marcos gave Filipino athletes cash awards


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FACT CHECK: PH presidents even before Marcos gave Filipino athletes cash awards
A YouTube video falsely claims that Marcos was the first president to give cash incentives to Filipino athletes who have brought honor to the country

Claim: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is the first Philippine president in history to provide cash awards to outstanding Filipino athletes. 

Rating: FALSE 

Why we fact checked this: The claim was made in the title of a video posted on August 9 by YouTube channel Pwedelie TV, which Rappler has fact-checked for making false claims. As of writing, the video has over 22,000 views, 723 likes, and 59 comments. 

The video’s title read: “OMG HISTORICAL ITO! NGAYON LANG ITO NANGYARI PBBM REWARD CASH CHEQUE PARA SA MGA ATLETANG PILIPINO”. (Omg, this is historical! This just happened. PBBM awards cash check to Filipino athletes). 

Comments on the video also referenced the claim and praised Marcos for being the first to award athletes with cash incentives. 

The facts: Marcos is not the first Philippine president to give out cash incentives to athletes, and he did not make history by doing so as previous presidents followed what was prescribed by law.

Under Republic Act No. 9064, signed in 2001 under the Arroyo administration, national athletes who win medals in international competitions are entitled to cash awards. Republic Act No. 10699, signed in 2015 under the Aquino administration, expanded the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches. 

Previous presidents, including Rodrigo Duterte, Benigno Aquino III, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, have also given out cash incentives to winning athletes during their presidencies.

For instance, in 2018 Duterte awarded cash incentives and presidential citations to the 18th Asian Games medalists. Among the awardees were prominent Filipino athletes Hidilyn Diaz, Margielyn Didal, and Yuka Saso. 

In 2016, the Aquino government awarded Filipino athletes with disabilities who won at the 8th ASEAN Para Games with a total of P6.8 million in cash incentives.

And in 2002, Arroyo gave roughly P30 million in cash incentives to former athletes and veterans who excelled in international competitions such as the Olympics and Asian Games. 

No proof: The 28-minute video does not provide proof to support the claim made in the title. Instead, it only shows the awarding ceremony of cash checks to the Filipino athletes who won medals during the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games.

The video also features Marcos’ speech, where he talks about Filipino pride in sports and even admits to a lack of support for Filipino athletes. 

Similar claim debunked: A similar claim went viral in 2021 when social media personality Jam Magno falsely said that former president Duterte was the only president to offer financial incentives to winning athletes. The claim circulated following the historic Olympic gold medal win of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz. 

Notorious for false claims: The YouTube channel which posted the video, Pwedelie TV, is notorious for spreading false claims. Its most popular videos, with over three million views, are about claims regarding the Yamashita Treasure and Tallano gold. Both claims have been debunked.

The YouTube channel has significant reach, with about 462,000 subscribers. It describes itself as a “pro-government Marcos loyalist” and “Duterte supporter.” – Gabby Jacinto/Rappler.com

Gabby Jacinto is a 3rd year Communication student at the Ateneo de Manila University, who is volunteering under Rappler’s Research Unit. 

This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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