Team Pilipinas only had meager expectations heading into the 2018 Asian Para Games. All the contingent wanted was to finish better than their outing in the 2014 edition of the tourney in Incheon that had a tally of five silvers and five bronzes.
But not only did the national team meet expectations, they exceeded it.
“Definitely, I am overjoyed by their performance! They have overachieved and I am just very happy,” said chef de mission Kiko Diaz.
The Philippines ended its campaign with a haul of 10 golds, eights silvers, and 11 bronzes. And with it comes with a huge cash windfall for the medalists from the Philippine Sports Commission.
“I suppose that apart from the glory and honor that our athletes have given to our country, our athletes really also realised that the opportunity to have a brighter future was theirs for the taking, and so they did, big time,” added Diaz.
“It’s quite a windfall from government through the expanded benefits and incentive act for athletes.”
With the PSC rolling out PHP 1,000,000 for each gold medalists, 500,000 for runners-up, and 200,000 for third-placers, a total of PHP 16.2M will be awarded to the athletes.
Swimmer Ernie Gawilan is set to receive at least PHP 4M for winning three competitions (Men’s 200m Individual Medley SM7, Men’s 100m Backstroke S7, Men’s 400m Freestyle S7) and picking up silver in the Men’s 50m Freestyle S7 and the Men’s 100m Freestyle S7 events.
Chesser Sander Severino, on the other hand, will get PHP 2.66M for winning gold in the Individual Standard P1 Men and Individual Rapid B1 Men, while being part of the golden teams in the event as well.
Bowler Kim Chi, cyclist Arthus Bucay, the Standard P1 Men’s Chess Team, the Standard B2-B3 Men’s Chess Team, and the Rapid B1 Men’s Chess Team will each receive PHP 1M as well.
Receiving 500K are powerlifter Achelle Guion, paddler Josephine Medina, chessers Menandro Redor and Henry Lopez, swimmer Gary Bejino, and the bowling duo of Chi and Samuel Matias.
The bronze medal winners, who will get 200K each, are Bejino, Bucay, cyclist Godfrey Taberna, swimmer Bejino, chessers Jasper Rom and Arman Subaste, powerlifter Adeline Dumapong, the Team Rapid B2-B3 Men’s and Team Rapid B2 Men’s Chess Teams.
“They have sacrificed and worked for the last year or so. They deserve to be rewarded with this kind of outcome,” Diaz remarked.
But it’s not just the financial support that Team Pilipinas is grateful for, as the PSC has also provided them with the right training facilities.
“We thank also the support of PSC for providing them much needed training equipment and supplies. We recognize that the support of government through the PSC is vital. Kudos also to all Coaches and Philippine Paralympic Committee officials who joined the trip to support our athletes in the games.”