Filipino athletes are set to get a massive boost from both the government and private sector with no less than President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos spearheading the campaign to raise funds that will be used to finance their training and competition for major international tournaments.
A known sports fan, Marcos encouraged government and private donors to adopt deserving athletes and provide everything they need to excel in the international arena.
The “godfather system” is similar to the Project Gintong Alay that was instituted by the Chief Executive’s father — former President Ferdinand Marcos — in 1979.
Headed by the Presidential cousin, Michael Keon, the Project Gintong Alay pumped life into the athletic careers of legendary athletes like Lydia de Vega-Mercado, Elma Muros, Isidro del Prado and Hector Begeo.
Marcos said the country has a lot of promising athletes like Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, EJ Obiena, Eumir Marcial, Carlos Yulo, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam so it is only fitting for both the government and private sector to go full blast in supporting them.
“Our dedication to sports development is unwavering,” said Marcos, addressing the athletes who emerged victorious in the 19th Asian Games recently.
“We have achieved much, but our journey is far from over. We will enhance our support for our athletes, and in doing so, aim for even greater success in international competitions.”
Marcos said the Philippine Sports Commission will be taking the lead in this campaign. In fact, to make sure that the concept will be fully implemented, they have crafted a five-year program that will run until the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
“We know and understand that for our athletes to succeed in these competitions, they will need all the help they can get, especially from their government. That’s why the Philippine Sports Commission is implementing a five-year sports development program from 2023 to 2028,” Marcos added.
Together with PSC chairman Richard “Dickie” Bachmann and Philippine Olympic president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Marcos personally handed the checks to the Asiad medalists and their families as the Office of the President doubled the incentives given to the athletes.
All of the 18 medalists received their cash incentives which totaled to a whopping P19.1 million from the PSC and P22.8 million from the Office of the President.
According to the Republic Act 10699, Asian Games medalists will get P2 million for gold, P1 million for silver and P400,000 for bronze.
WITH TIZIANA CELINE PIATOS