The medalists of the 30th Southeast Asian Games are set to receive their cash incentives in Malacañang on Wednesday when they meet with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine Sports Commission chair and Team Philippines chef de mission Butch Ramirez confirmed the meeting following a courtesy call by the Philippine surfing team at the PSC office in Manila on Monday.
Republic Act 10699 (National Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act) awards SEA Games winners with P300,000 for a gold medal, P150,000 for silver and P60,000 for bronze.
The President will also hand out additional incentives worth P250,000 for gold, P150,000 for silver and P100,000 for bronze medalists.
“We were all hoping and praying for this, but it is still a sweet surprise now that it is actually happening. I am so proud of our athletes. All of them deserve our respect and love,” said Ramirez in a statement.
With a 149-117-121 gold-silver-bronze tally for a runaway No. 1 finish, the Filipinos surpassed the 1995 “Miracle in Manila” output of 112-85-93.
Ramirez said the national athletes must be entitled to all the support they can get.
“They deserve better venues to train and play in. The Games gave us the means to make these improvements possible,” said Ramirez, referring to refurbished arenas like the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and newly-built ones like the New Clark City facilities.
Vietnam, whose swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien was the Games’ best female athlete with six gold medals and two silvers, was a far second with a 98-85-105 production.