Marcos sees sports as a unifying force
Continue breaking barriers and make sports a unifying force in the country, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. told the Philippines Sports Commission (PSC) and other sports stakeholders on Wednesday as he honored the Para athletes who competed in China last year.
“So, now I call on the PSC, as well as every sports association and community in the country to continue breaking barriers, challenging stereotypes, building a nation where sports serve as an inclusive and unifying force,” President Marcos said during the awarding in Malacanang of incentives to the medalists of the 4th Asian Para Games.
“In so doing , we can look forward to a new Philippines, Bagong Pilipinas, that is bound by the ideals of industry, integrity, and teamwork, and committed to the pursuit of greatness and excellence,” the President stated.
Recognizing the important role of sports in the nation’s development and unity, the President and his administration is boosting its support for Filipino athletes, their coaches, and their families.
Part of the effort is building athletic infrastructure, from gyms, athletic ovals, to even safe sidewalks for ordinary citizens.
The overall objective, Marcos said, is to promote sports down to the grassroots, not to merely create a talent farm for national teams but to use sports for nation-building.
“A good sports program goes beyond trophy collecting. It should harness our collective strengths to realize the common good,” Marcos said.
“So we must train, we must fund, and nurture our national sporting elite that is able to compete with the world’s best so they can bring us pride and glory and inspiration,” he added.
In congratulating the para athletes, the President said it is only fitting that, apart from the thanks of a grateful nation, the government has to present them with incentives.
“So, as we hand these to you, remember that these are not merely monetary tokens. They are symbols of the love of your countrymen and their admiration for all the sacrifices that you have made for your country and for your countrymen,” President President Marcos said.
Under Republic Act No. 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, all national athletes who won in international sports competitions and events are entitled to monetary benefits. The athletes who won in the 4th Asian Para Games in individual events will receive PhP1 million for gold medal finish, PhP500,000 for silver and PhP200,000 for bronze.
The teams that competed with less than five participants per team shall receive the same cash incentive for individual medal winners to be divided equally among the members present during the competition. Their coaches will receive half of the athlete’s cash incentive. In total, the PSC shall provide PhP19.5 million.
The President also provided the athletes monetary awards totalling PhP13.45 million in addition to the incentives provided under RA 10699.
The para-athletes brought home 19 medals, catapulting the Philippines to 9th place in 44 highly competitive participating countries.
The 4th Asian Para Games was held in Hangzhou, China last October.
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