MANILA, Philippines – Is Malacañang going to give lone Philippine Winter Olympian Michael Martinez a bonus after his historic performance?
The Palace says it is unsure for now.
“We will wait for recommendations. The Philippine Sports Commission will be able to recommend if additional resources are needed,” said Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Sunday, February 16.
“What I can assure is that we recognize the excellent performance of Michael Martinez, and we unite with the country and he will surely receive a warm welcome and recognition upon his return.”
Coloma also reminded Filipinos about President Benigno Aquino III’s policy of resource allocation, which prioritizes “sports where we have a competitive advantage.”
The statement comes a day after the 17-year-old finished 19th at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics men’s figure skating finals on Saturday morning (Manila time). (IN PHOTOS: Filipino Winter Olympian’s free skate routine)
Martinez also made history as the first Southeast Asian skater to perform at the Winter Olympics. (READ: Praise for Martinez after historic stint)
Meanwhile, MVP Sports Foundation (MVPSF) awarded Martinez a $10,000-bonus (P440,000) as authorized by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan himself soon after his performance.
In interviews after his performance, Martinez said his goal “is to qualify again for the next Winter Olympics.”
“If I can get more support financially, I’m thinking about the next Olympics,” he said.
While Martinez received some financial help from private sponsors like Pangilinan, Martinez’s mother said her family mortgaged their home just to send her son to Sochi, Russia.
She said the government also ignored her pleas for assistance, a claim both the Palace and the Philippine Sports Commission have denied. – Natashya Gutierrez/Rappler.com