POC President Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino, Senator Lawrence Bong Go, PSC Chairman Richard Bachmann, PHILSPADA President Mike Barredo, and Gerald Rosario, Chef de Mission, united in waving the national flag during the send-off ceremony for Team Philippine-bound athletes at the PICC Plenary Hall.  (REYMUNDO NILLAMA)

P3-million awaits Asian gold medalists

By Robert Andaya

From  P2-million  to P3-milion.

That’s the  total  cash bonuses  awaiting the Filipino athletes who will strike the gold medal in the 19th Asian Games scheduled September  23-October. 8 in Hangzhou,China.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino  announced the additional cash incentive of P1-million during the send-off ceremony for the Filipino  athletes to  both  the Asian Games and Asian Para Games at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City last Monday.

“I believe our athletes will deliver. It will be hard, but we will try to beat the previous record from the last Asian Games kahit kulang tayo sa mga elite athletes,” Tolentino told  the more than 300 athletes,  coaches and sports officials in the send-off  ceremony.

“I hope the cash bonuses will motivate our national athletes to work even harder and perform better in Hangzhou,’ added Tolentino, who also announced the appointment of world No. 2 pole vaulter Ernest John “EJ” Obiena and Olympic skateboarder Margilyn Didal are the country’s  official flag-bearers during the opening ceremony.

Also present during the send-off ceremony were Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Philippine Paralympic Committee President Michael Barredo, Senate Committee onSport sChairman Sen. Bong Go and PSC commissioners Olivia “Bong” Coo, Fritz Gaston, Walter Torres and Edward Hayco.

Bachmann,  who hosted the send-off party, vowed PSC’s full support for the Asian Games campaign.

“We, the PSC, saw how our athletes trained, and we’re hoping they win medals and do better this Asian Games. The POC and the PSC are continuing to support our athletes all the time together,” said Bachmann.

“As we send out Team Philippines, we are not just sending a team. We are sending the embodiment of our nation’s hopes and dreams. Our athletes carry with them the  aspirations of millions of Filipinos. Kayo ang buhay na patunay na ang bawat pangarap ay natutupad sa sipag, dedication, at perseverance,” he added.“

The entire Philippines stands beside you, cheering you on every step of the way. Have faith in yourself, trust in your training, and never forget the values that define our nation’s  excellence, resilience and the Filipino spirits. Bring up the gold, but more importantly, bring up the pride and the unity that you have fostered among us all,”

Under the law,  all medal winners in the Asian Games  will  receive  cash incentives of P2 million, P1 million and P400,000 for gold, silver and bronze medals through the PSC as mandated by Republic Act No. 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.

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