No Christmas bonus yet for Filipino SEAG athletes without medals
Joey Villar ( - January 5, 2020 - 2:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino athletes who didn’t win a medal in the Southeast Asian Games last month will have to wait a little longer before they could receive the P25,000 Christmas bonus the Philippine Sports Commission had initially been planning to give them.

PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez planned to give all athletes, including non-medalists as well as all the government sports-funding agency’s employees, the Christmas bonus just like last year but was forced to temporarily shelve the plan due to budgetary constraints.

“We have plans, but it remains a plan because of depleted budget after the 30th Southeast Asian Games,” said Ramirez Sunday.

The delay was due to the PSC’s decision to withdraw its remaining money worth P400 million to help the Philippine SEAG Organizing Committee pay some of its broadcasting expenses during the SEAG last December.

It also led to the ASEAN Para Games, which was being done right after the SEAG, being postponed and rescheduled from this month to March in Clark.

While athletes who snared medals in the SEAG will not be affected that much by the delay since they already received incentives from government, the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation, President Duterte and Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, the same can’t be said with Filipinos who went home without a medal in the SEAG.

“Because of national interest, we helped Phisgoc by pulling out our last P400 million budget for 2019,” said Ramirez, the country’s SEAG chief de mission. “That’s the reason we advised Para Games to move to March.”

The lack of money also led to Ramirez deciding to cancel their Christmas party.

“We at the PSC are happy that we won the overall championship and also sad because we had to call off our Christmas party,” said Ramirez. “We also wanted to give our employees P25,000 but we couldn’t, so it was really a sad Christmas for everyone.”

Ramirez, however, is hoping they could make up for it during the PSC’s 30th founding anniversary celebration on January 24.

“Hopefully the good news will come in our anniversary,” said Ramirez.

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