POC sweetens pot for SEAG medalists

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    THE Philippine Olympic Committee sweetened the pot last Saturday, announcing that it will also award cash bonuses to the country’s silver and bronze medalists in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games.

    “We got some help from our friends, notably (Presidential Sports Adviser) Dennis Uy of Udenna/Phoenix and my colleagues in Congress,” POC president Rep. Bambol Tolentinto said. “The POC alone does not have enough cash to include everyone but we were fortunate to have individuals who personally pitched in because they believe our athletes deserve to be rewarded.”

    Instead of P300,000 for every gold as initially promised, gold medalists will now receive a P200,000 bonus from the POC while the silver and bronze medalists will also have corresponding rewards.

    For team gold medalists composed of a pair of athletes, such as dancesport, each will receive P100,000 while those with three to four members get P75,000 apiece, and teams with five athletes and above get P50,000 each.

    Individual silver medalists and teams with two members will receive P50,000 per athlete while those with 3 or more members will be given P30,000 each.

    All bronze medalists, regardless of team or individual athlete, will get P30,000 a piece.

    The local Olympic body will award a total of P52,870,000 in bonuses to the country’s medalists in the SEA Games, Tolentino said, adding it will be given after the POC general assembly meeting and Christmas party at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City this Tuesday.

    “It’s the least we can do for the athletes who sacrificed, toiled and persevered to make our countrymen proud at the Games”, the Tagaytay congressman stressed. “With with the previous contributions from San Miguel Corporation, the MVP Sports Foundation and the PBA, plus yesterday’s pledge of P15M from Mr. Uy and P6M from the members of Congress, we are able to make this happen.

    “This is the first time that the POC is giving out cash incentives for SEA Games medalists.”
    Bankrolled by the over P1 billion in financial support by the Philippine Sports Commission in their build-up, the country’s campaigners reaped a rich harvest of 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals in regaining the overall championship they last held in the 2005 when the country last held the Games.

    This was an all-time high for the Philippines, surpassing the overall tally of 113-84-94 14 years ago when the country first won the overall crown.