President Duterte poses with Jakarta/Palembang Asian Games medalists accompanied by PSC and NSA officials during the awarding of financial incentives yesterday at Malacañang.
Joven Cagande
Incentives up P4 million for each gold; golfers donate theirs
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Achievers in the recent Asian Games in Indonesia basked in glory in Malacañang during yesterday’s awarding of over P24 million incentives in ceremonies led by President Duterte himself.

As always the jolly one, Asian Games gold-winning skateboarder Margie Didal grabbed the opportunity to banter with the Chief Executive in Visaya and get him to do the “dab pose.”

Alam ko naman po na palabiro siya, saka Bisaya, ganon iyung vibes,” said Cebu pride Didal. “Sabi ko pwede po ba gawin yung ginagawa ko na dab pose? Sabi niya, paano daw gagawin? Tapos biglang chinop nya ulo ko. Nakakatuwa lang kasi nakikipagbiruan din sya.”

Mr. Duterte personally congratulated the medalists led by double gold winner Yuka Saso, her golf teammates Louise Kaye Go and Bianca Pagdangangan, Hidilyn Diaz and Didal.

“I congratulate all our athletes and coaches for their efforts in bringing honor and recognition to the Philippines. We Filipinos have always been known for our competitive spirit and this year, we didn’t fall short of showing this trait,” said Duterte. 

“Our journey in the Asian Games truly fostered unity among our athletes who are pushing towards a specific goal...What draws them together is collective aspiration to represent the best of our resilience, competitiveness and determination as a nation,” he added.

Gold medalists stand to receive P2 million from the government under RA 10699 and Mr. Duterte upped the ante by handing an additional P2M each to the champions.

“It is my hope this will not only further motivate our athletes to work harder but also find resolve, ways to maximize their potential and inspire the rest of the youth to be part of an active and healthy citizenry,” Duterte said.

Saso, who swept golf’s individual and team golds, received at least P4 million for her feat from the government, but won’t keep the pot and instead donate it to the National Golf Association of the Philippines for its jungolf program.

“Masaya po pero amateur pa ako, bawal pa kami tumanggap ng pera so ido-donate po namin sa NGAP para masuportahan yung ibang bata,” said Saso. “Wala pong panghihinayang, hindi naman po kasi pera ang habol ko, gusto ko lang po mag-enjoy talaga. Masaya na po ako na nanalo, okay na po ako doon. Masaya na rin ako na yung pera may matutulungang iba.”

In a statement, Saso, Pagdanganan and Go said they unanimously agreed to donate their incentives to support the national golf program and help aspiring golfers reach their goals.

“Due to immutable circumstances, we are unable to accept any and all forms of financial reward. At present, two of us are actively playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the US, with the third, soon to follow. We will automatically lose our amateur status the moment we keep these incentives, as well as the opportunity to continue representing the Philippines in the future,” said the troika in a statement.

“We are thus confident that the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) will allocate these resources in a prudent, equitable, and ideal manner, consistent with our intentions,” they added.

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