Para Games medalists await incentives

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (Philspada) and National Paralympic Committee chairman Mike Barredo said yesterday the athletes who brought home 16 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze medals from the 8th ASEAN Para Games in Singapore last Dec. 3-10 are still waiting for their cash bonuses from the PSC as stipulated in R. A. Act No. 10699.

PSC chairman Richie Garcia sent a letter to PAGCOR chairman Cristino Naguiat last Dec. 14 detailing the breakdown of the P6,783,750 that the Filipino para athletes earned as incentives at the Singapore Games. “We write to formally request the processing of their incentives as provided for in R. A. No. 10699 or the expansion of the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches, repealing R. A. Act No. 9064,” wrote Garcia. “The PSC shall be advancing payments to help our athletes and coaches celebrate the (Christmas) season better.”

Barredo said the PSC has not advanced the incentives so far. Under the law, P150,000 will be given for a gold, P75,000 for a silver and P30,000 for a bronze from the ASEAN Para Games. R. A. No. 10699 was signed into law by President Aquino last Nov. 13, a consolidation of House Bill No. 5912 and Senate Bill No. 2898. It expanded the coverage of the incentives for athletes and coaches to include the Para category with a new schedule of amounts, superseding R. A. Act No. 9064 which was passed in 2001.

The breakdown of the P6,783,750 was as follows: 16 gold medals for P2.4 Million, 17 silver medals for P1.275 Million and 26 bronze medals for P847,500. The amount included incentives for coaches – P1.2 Million for gold medals, P637,500 for silver medals and P423,750 for bronze medals. The computations were prepared by Perfidia Abalos and certified by PSC acting Assistance and Coordination Division chief Arnold Agustin.

“We’re honored that Para athletes will be the first Filipino athletes to receive the incentives under the new landmark law,” said Barredo. “We really don’t know what’s holding up the distribution of the incentives. We’ve been informed that PAGCOR was scheduled to hold a Board meeting yesterday and that the incentives will be taken up. But I’m just wondering why the PSC hasn’t advanced the payments as Chairman Garcia mentioned he would do in his letter to PAGCOR. Anyway, I’m sure the incentives are on the way and it’s always better late than never. We’re grateful to the PSC and PAGCOR for supporting our Para athletes.”

At the previous ASEAN Para Games, the Philippines finished sixth with a haul of 20 gold, 19 silver and 21 bronze medals. Last year, the country was represented by 67 athletes in 10 of 15 sports which were athletics, swimming, powerlifting, table tennis, badminton, chess, 10-pin bowling, sailing, wheelchair basketball and archery. The Philippines slipped to seventh place behind topnotcher Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Myanmar. Below the Philippines were Brunei, Cambodia and Laos. Thailand garnered 95 gold, 76 silver and 79 bronze medals to capture the overall championship with a comfortable margin over runner-up Indonesia with 81 gold, 74 silver and 63 bronze medals.

The Philippines’ gold harvest came from athletics with five, chess with six, powerlifting with one, swimming with three and table tennis with one. The silvers were from athletics with three, chess with five, sailing with two, swimming with two, table tennis with one and 10-pin bowling with four. The bronzes were from athletics with nine, chess with two, powerlifting with one, sailing with one, swimming with one, table tennis with seven, 10-pin bowling with three and wheelchair basketball with two (one for the men’s team and one for the men’s 3x3).

The gold medalists were Jerrold Pete Mangliwan (two for men’s 100 and 200-meters), Joel Balatucan (shot put) and Prudencia Panaligan (two for women’s 100 and 200-meters) of athletics, Menandro Redor (two for individual rapid B2/B3 and individual standard B2/B3), Sander Severino (for individual rapid PI), Arman Subaste, Israel Peligro and Redor (for men’s team rapid B2/B3), Henry Roger Lopez, James Esto and Severino (for men’s team rapid PI) and Subaste, Peligro and Redor (for men’s team standard B2/B3) of chess, Adeline Ancheta (for women’s over 86 kilograms) of powerlifting, Ernie Gawilan (two for men’s 200-meter individual medley and men’s 400-meter freestyle S8) and Gary Bejino (for men’s 400-meter freestyle S7) of swimming and Josephine Medina (for women’s singles Class 7-8) of table tennis.

The gold medal coaches were Joel Derlada and Bernard Buen of athletics, Edmon Prado and Saul Severino of chess, Ramon Debuque of powerlifting, Antonio Ong of swimming and Louise Mark Eballa of table tennis.

Qualifying for this year’s Rio Paralympics from the ASEAN Para Games were Mangliwan, Gawilan, Medina and Andy Avellana of athletics. Mangliwan, 36, made it by clinching two golds in wheelchair racing. He has a Mass Communications degree from Trinity University of Asia. Gawilan, 24, has been a consistent multiple gold medalist in the ASEAN Para Games since 2009. The native of Bukidnon finished up to second year of high school. Medina, 45, hit her stride with five golds at the ASEAN Para Games in 2008, dominating the singles, doubles and team events. She has an Industrial Psychology degree from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. Avellana, 39, bagged two bronze medals at the recent ASEAN Para Games in high jump and long jump. He is a graduate of a two-year computer technology course at Systems Plus Computer College.

Expected to book a ticket to Rio is Ancheta, a 42-year-old Ifugao powerlifter who has a computer science degree from St. Paul’s University. Ancheta, whose legs were amputated when she was three years old because of polio, is the first Filipino to claim a medal at the Paralympics, gaining a bronze in the 82.5 kilogram category in Sydney in 2000. She took the gold in Singapore and will shoot for a Paralympic ticket at the Powerlifting World Cup in Kuala Lumpur next month.












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