Baguio athletes who won in international competitions last year, including the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG), will be receiving their incentives from the city government soon after the City Council approved to transfer funds for the said purpose.
“The money for it will not revert to our savings,” city administrator Bonifacio dela Peña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.
The amount of PHP865,000 has been requested from the local finance committee to be released for the purpose.
“Now, they (athletes) are assured to get their incentive even without completing their requirements, which they can do in the coming months,” said dela Peña who wrote the City Council last week to allow the transfer of the fund.
Athletes are required to submit certificates of achievement from their respective National Sports Association (NSA), official results, and barangay certificate as proof that they are residents of the city.
Athletes have earlier said they were not able to secure the said documents due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic that resulted in community quarantine and preventing them from traveling to Manila.
Dela Peña said the amount of PHP820,000 will be for the medalists during the 2019 SEA Games while PHP45,000 is intended for incentives to the winners of the world para-bowling team.
Paul Rillorta of the City Sports Office said that 21 SEAG athletes will be receiving their incentives.
There were 41 medalists from the Cordilleras in the last SEAG but 20 were disqualified as they already received incentives from their respective local government units.
Most of the athletes are enrolled in Baguio schools and universities.
Two-time world taekwondo Poomsae champion and SEAG gold medalist Jeordan Dominguez, one of the athletes who will receive his incentive, said this will help in his studies and fellow taekwondo athletes.
“Sana nga po ma-release na para makatulong sa mga kapwa taekwondo athletes ko (hopefully it will be released so I can help my fellow taekwondo athletes),” Dominguez said.
He said he has six taekwondo athletes “who serve as assistants in various gyms here in Baguio which remain closed until now due to prohibition for contact sports.
“It is my way of giving back since taekwondo has helped me a lot,” he added.
Dominguez, like all Philippine team athletes, has been receiving half of his usual allowance from the Philippine Sports Commission for the past three months as funds were reverted to the national government for the Covid-19 response efforts.
The national athlete allowance is expected to revert to full this October with President Rodrigo Duterte signing the Bayanihan Act 2, which allotted PHP180 million for athletes and coaches’ allowances.
They are also expected to receive PHP5,000 as bonus.
Source: Philippines News Agency