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Photo from Philippine Sports Commission

2020 Tokyo Olympics

Malacañang honors Olympians — including Onyok Velasco

Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, and the rest of Team Pilipinas were honored by the Malacañang Palace in a simple event, Monday evening.

The government — through the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation — released almost P50 million in incentives, monetary awards, and additional allowances to the athletes and coaches of Team Pilipinas who competed in the 32nd Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan.

Besides the mandated incentives from Republic Act 10699, Diaz received an additional P3-million; Petecio and Paalam an additional P2-million; Marcial an additional P1-million for their feats in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo while the rest of Team Pilipinas got P200,000 each.

“Today, we celebrate our Olympic medalists led by Philippine Air Force sergeant Hidilyn Diaz — the country’s very first Olympic gold medalist in history,” said President Rodrigo Duterte. “We also honor our silver and bronze medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial.”

In a surprise, the Palance also honored was 1996 Summer Games silver medalist Onyok Velasco as P500,000 was given to him.

“It is also fitting to recognize the achievement of our 1996 Olympic silver medalist Onyok Velasco,” Duterte continued.

Also present in the event were Philippine Olympic Committee president Bambol Tolentino, Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez, Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports Bong Go, among others. Other Team Pilipinas present were Elreen Ando and Jayson Valdez.

Diaz was also given the Presidential Order of Merit while the four boxers were given the Order of Lapu-Lapu Magalong Medal.

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Part of the total amount is P11.5 Million that covers the additional P250,000 travel allowance, as announced by PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez previously that each athlete and coach of Team Philippines will also get.

“I congratulate you once again for bringing honor to the country and uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amid the pandemic. You are truly inspiring. I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future,” Duterte expressed.

“Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and Filipino youth to get into sports and keep them away from harmful vices.”

The government reminded the PSC and the POC to continue working in grooming and developing not just the current champions but also the future of Philippine sports.

After all, it took almost a century for the country to produce its first-ever Olympic gold.

“Rest assured, the government remains committed to giving full support to our Filipino athletes,” he said.

“It takes a village to raise a child but it takes the world to develop a champion.”

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