Press Release
August 25, 2021

PRRD confers Presidential awards, add'l incentives to Tokyo Olympics Filipino medalists and Onyok while Bong Go reaffirms commitment to look after welfare of all athletes

In a simple ceremony in Malacañang Palace on Monday, August 23, President Rodrigo Duterte awarded presidential honors and additional incentives, on top of what is provided under the law, to the four 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics medalists namely Hidilyn Diaz, gold for weightlifting; Nesthy Petecio, silver for boxing; Carlo Paalam, also silver for boxing; and Eumir Feliz Marcial, bronze for boxing.

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go witnessed the ceremony as Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports.

"With so much pride and gratitude, I very warmly congratulate Team Philippines for the biggest medal haul for the country since we joined the Olympics in 1924!" expressed Go in an earlier statement.

The Philippines emerged as the most successful member-state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations after bagging one gold, two silvers and one bronze in the recently concluded Tokyo Games. Last 2019, the country also emerged as the over-all champion of the 30th SEA Games held in various venues in the country.

"Ginawaran ng Presidential Medal of Merit si Diaz, at Order of Lapu-Lapu (Rank of Kamagi) sina Petecio, Paalam at Marcial. Bukod rito, ang bawat medalist ay nabigyan rin ng Certificate of Award para sa one NHA housing unit," shared Go after the ceremony.

Presidential Citations were also given to Jayson E. Valdez and Elreen Ann Ando who participated in Shooting and Weightlifting events in the Tokyo Olympics, respectively, as well as officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee and Philippine Sports Commission for their untiring service. Both Valdez and Ando also received Php 200,000 as cash incentive.

Under Republic Act No. 10699, Olympic medalists would be awarded Php10 million if they win a gold medal; Php5 million for a silver medal; and Php2 million for a bronze medal. On the other hand, Paralympic medalists would get PhP5 million for a gold medal; Php2.5 million for a silver medal; and Php1 million for a bronze medal.

On top of these, President Duterte added Php3 million to Hidilyn Diaz for winning gold, Php2 million each to Petecio and Paalam for winning silver, and Php1 million to Marcial for winning bronze.

The PSC also provided an additional Php5 million to Diaz as incentive for breaking an Olympic record.

Meanwhile, President Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, (Rank of Kamagi), to Olympian and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics boxing silver medalist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, Jr.

Upon recommendation of Senator Go and the PSC, Velasco was also granted a P500,000 cash incentive for having brought honor to the country. Go said that this is in recognition of Velasco's contributions to sports development and for being an inspiration to athletes who followed his footsteps.

Go earlier appealed to the national government to look into the unfulfilled pledges made by institutions, agencies and individuals more than two decades ago to Velasco.

"Sa panahon ni Pangulong Duterte, binibigyan natin ng importansya, suporta at insentibo ang mga atleta natin, lalo na yung mga nagtagumpay sa nakaraang Olympics. Binigyan rin natin ng karampatang pagkilala ang mga atleta nating katulad ni Onyok na nangangailangan ng tulong natin ngayon," said Go.

"Kapag may binitawang salita, dapat tuparin. Iyan po ang ugali namin ni Pangulong Duterte. Bagama't nangyari naman ito more than twenty years ago at wala naman kaming kinalaman sa mga napangako sa kanya noon, nais ko lang hanapan ng paraan na maresolba ito sa panahon ni Pangulong Duterte," Go added.

Meanwhile, Go mentioned that the achievement of Filipino Olympians will open doors to more aspiring athletes as he pledged to push for more government support that will protect and promote the betterment of athletes towards the country's sports renaissance.

"Under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, we saw the biggest spending ever spent by the government for our sports programs. And as chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I will continue to promote and advance long-term and grassroots sports development in the country," said Go.

"Sa lahat ng mga nakakuha ng medalya sa Tokyo Olympics na pawang mga taga-Mindanao, proud na proud kami ni Tatay Digong na kapwa niyo taga-Mindanao din. Daghang salamat!" he continued.

Go earlier filed Senate resolutions recognizing the country's olympic medalists. In particular, the resolution lauding Diaz stated that "the astounding performance, commitment and unrelenting spirit of Filipino competitiveness and excellence shown by Hidilyn Diaz truly deserve to be commended for the recognition and distinction she has brought to the country."

"Sa lahat ng mga atleta, coaches, trainers, mga naging bahagi ng delegasyon, at sa lahat ng mga sumuporta---mula sa mga opisyal ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno hanggang sa mga pinakaordinaryong manggagawa---maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo," expressed Go.

"At sa lahat ng mga kababayan nating Pilipinong sumubaybay sa Tokyo Olympics at nagbigay ng suporta at pagpupugay, ito ang panahon na mas lalo tayong magkaisa sa ating paglalakbay tungo sa ating tagumpay mula sa pandemya," he ended.

In demonstration of his untiring commitment to the welfare of Filipino athletes, Go previously pushed the Office of the President to provide an additional allowance of P100,000 to the athletes who qualified for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

As Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, he also ensured that adequate funds were included in the PSC's budget to support the preparations of the athletes participating in international events. He pushed for an additional Php100 million, which was later increased to Php250 million, and an additional Php7.945 million in the 2021 national budget for Olympic and Paralympics preparations, respectively.

He likewise successfully appealed for the inclusion of all Filipino athletes and other delegates who will be competing or participating in the Olympics in the priority list for COVID-19 vaccinations.

When enhanced community quarantine measures were strictly imposed in most parts of the country last year, Go urged government agencies to provide much needed support to athletes whose training and livelihood had been hampered by the pandemic.

Go has also pushed for the enactment of key legislation to promote the development of sports in the Philippines, such as Republic Act No. 11470 which establishes the National Academy of Sports at the New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac.

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