Press Release
January 6, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, has filed two bills seeking to grant benefits to professional Filipino athletes with world championship titles.

In filing Senate Bill No. 3322, Pimentel, chairman of the Committee on Games and Amusement, said the nation should show its appreciation for champion athletes who have brought honor and prestige to the country by giving them retirement, health care and death benefits.

Under the proposed bill, professional Filipino athletes who have won international titles are entitled to receive the following retirement benefits upon reaching the age of 50 years: for individual events, a lifetime monthly pension of at least P15,000 and for team events, a lifetime monthly pension of at least P10,000 for each team member.

Professional Filipino athletes, immediately upon winning an international professional sports competition, shall be covered by the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), through a special program sponsored by the Games and Amusement Board.

Upon the death of a professional Filipino athlete, his primary beneficiaries shall be entitled to a lump-sum death benefit of P30,000 to cover funeral services or other expenses. If there are no primary beneficiaries, his secondary beneficiaries shall be entitled to these benefits.

The benefits provided under the proposed bill shall retroact to all living professional athletes who have won in an international professional sports competition.

Senate Bill No. 3254, on the other hand, seeks to create the Philippine Boxing Commission to strengthen the country's standing in boxing sports and ensure the welfare of Filipino boxers.

The proposed Commission will establish uniform rules and procedures related to boxing; work towards developing world-class professional boxers; provide safety procedures to protect boxers from physical and financial exploitation; and provide for comprehensive health care benefits, life insurance, alternative livelihood program, and other benefits for boxers who have competed and won in international boxing events.

Pimentel's bill also seeks to establish a Medical Advisory Board to assist and advise the Commission on issues affecting the health and safety of boxers.

The Board shall prepare and submit appropriate standards for the physical and mental examination of boxers; advise the Commission on the physical and mental fitness of a boxer; and recommend physicians to be licensed as ringside physicians for the Commissision. It shall also prepare and submit recommendations for revisions in the law necessary to protect the health and safety of boxers.

The proposed legislation requires emergency medical services during professional boxing promotions, such as the presence of a licensed practicing physician, ambulance services, and a nearby tertiary hospital; and provides for a mandatory rest period for boxers who sustain injuries.

To promote the welfare of professional boxers and international boxing champions, the proposed legislation seeks to require promoters to provide private insurance coverage for each professional boxing promotion; provide for health care benefits through PhilHealth and death benefits for all professional boxers; and provide for Alternative Livelihood Programs for retired and/or injured international boxing champions, among other benefits.

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