NBA
President hands out P30-M to RP heroes
() - May 28, 2002 - 12:00am
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo honored yesterday past Filipino athletes who have made the nation proud with their sterling performances in the international fronts in elaborate rites at the Grand Plaza Ballroom of the Westin Philippine Plaza.

The President rewarded the first batch of former athletes and veterans who excelled in either the Olympics, Asian Games or various quadrennial world championships with cash incentives close to P30 million out of estimated P100 million to be given out to past Philippine sporting heroes. There were close to 180 former athletes or relatives out of the first group of 213 honorees who graced the occasion. There were 357 RP athletes who qualified for the incentives.

Assisted by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Eric Buhain in the awarding rites, President Arroyo handed out the incentives out of the funds from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) as mandated by Republic Act 9064.

RA 9064, known as the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001, was one of the first laws signed by President Arroyo on April 5, 2001.

Two senators, Sen. Robert Jaworski, author of the R.A. 9064 and Sen. Tito Sotto, were present in the rites as recipients but the two donated their share to the national pool through the PSC. Rep. Monico Puentevella, chair of the House committee on youth and sports, also graced the occasion.

"This is a very significant achievement for the PSC. These veterans are the inspiration of the young athletes and the sports officials to strive for excellence," Buhain said.

World FIQ champion Olivia "Bong Coo" Garcia received a check amounting to P1 million, representing 20 per cent of her total cash award of P5 million. Lita De La Rosa received the second highest incentive with P3.7 million. A relative represented De La Rosa, who died early this year.— With reports from Marichu Villanueva

ASIAN GAMES BONG COO DE LA ROSA ERIC BUHAIN GRAND PLAZA BALLROOM OF THE WESTIN PHILIPPINE PLAZA LITA DE LA ROSA MARICHU VILLANUEVA MONICO PUENTEVELLA PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORP PHILIPPINE SPORTS COMMISSION PRESIDENT ARROYO
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