Athletes and coaches of the Philippine contingent to the 30th Southeast Asian Games pose with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Bong Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and sports officials during a recent ‘Call for Unity’ gathering at Malacanang.
P600K cash incentive awaits SEAG gold medalists
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - November 14, 2019 - 4:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino athletes will have 300,000 more reasons to shoot for a gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games unfolding November 30 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino has promised to double the cash incentive that national athletes are bound to receive from the Philippine Sports Commission for a gold in the biennial meet during Wednesday night’s big send-off for the Philippine team at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

A total of P600,000 awaits a Filipino SEAG gold medalist since, by law, a gold in the SEAG is equivalent to P300,000.

“In behalf of the POC, we will do our best to give cash incentives like what the PSC will give that is in accordance with the law,” Tolentino told the more than 1,000 crowd composed of not just the national squad but also the differently able team competing in the ASEAN Para Games in Clark in January next year.

Interestingly, Tolentino predicted a 180-gold harvest for the country, which would mean the POC will have to cough up at least P54 million if his forecast runs true.

There is a chance the amount could go higher since sports leaders showed optimism by forecasting a 220-gold haul last week.

Expected to benefit from this the most is world champion gymnast Carlos Edriel “Caloy” Yulo, who is seeking to rake in six of the seven gold medals he will enter into.

Other Filipinos who are sure to strike gold are Olympic silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz of weightlifting, Eumir Felix Marcial and Nesthy Petecio of boxing, the track and field squad headed by Olympic-bound pole vaulter EJ Obiena and the powerhouse billiards squad headed by Efren “Bata” Reyes and Rubilen Amit among others.

The POC board had already approved the additional cash bonus.

Meanwhile, Philippine Sports Commission chair William “Butch” Ramirez cheered on the national athletes and ask them to do it for country.

“This is a great opportunity of service to the Philippines, to show love of country and to inspire the Filipino youth,” said Ramirez.

Filipino sports icons Lydia de Vega-Mercado and Elma Muros-Posadas of athletics, Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo of bowling, Eugene Torre of chess and Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco of boxing were also present to inspire the present batch of athletes.

Philippine SEAG Organizing Committee head and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was also there.

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