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Angara seeks more money for athletes

 

By HANNAH L. TORREGOZA

 

ASIAN Games gold medalists Margielyn Didal and Hidilyn Diaz show off their medals after attending the Senate budget hearing in Pasay City. (Czar Dancel)

ASIAN Games gold medalists Margielyn Didal and Hidilyn Diaz show off their medals after attending the Senate budget hearing in Pasay City. (Czar Dancel)

SENATOR Juan Edgardo “Sonny” An­gara yesterday pushed for higher allowances for athletes and the improvement of sports facilities in the country.

Angara, who worked for the passage of a law increasing the incentives of winning athletes, coaches, and trainors, said it is time that lawmakers pursue in­creasing the allowances of na­tional athletes. “We should pro­vide them with enough support and assistance to help them de­velop their potential and empow­er them to win,” said Angara.

Angara, Senate Finance Com­mittee vice chairperson, spon­sored Republic Act No. 10699 that raised the incentives and benefits of winning athletes and coaches.

The senator made the call af­ter listening to the clamor of the 2018 Asian Games medalists who attended the budget hearing of the Philippine Sports Commission on Thursday.

Angara had asked the medal­ists for their insights on how to improve the state of Philippine sports and on how the govern­ment can better help the athletes and a number of the medalists la­mented their meager allowances.

He said at present, more than half of the 887 national athletes belong to the training pool and are receiving a Php10,200 monthly allowance. There are only eight platinum athletes in the country today, including weightlifter Hidi­lyn Diaz, who are getting Php45,000 monthly allowance.

“Kasama na sa allowance na ito ang para sa pagkain at tira­han nila, panggastos sa school, at pambili ng mga gamit nila sa sports,” Angara noted. “Marami rin sa kanila, ipinadadala sa kani-kanilang pamilya ang nakukuha nilang allowance,” said Angara.

Angara is looking into aug­menting PSC’s budget to fund a Php5,000 increase in the allowance of all the athletes.

During the hearing, gold med­alist Margielyn Didal pointed out the lack of training centers in the country and bronze medalist Junna Tsukii cited that the Phil­sports complex in Pasig City is already “very dirty.”

Because of this, the senator urged the PSC to fast-track the Php1-billion rehabilitation of sports facilities that are already dated and rundown, especially the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Er­mita, Manila and the Philsports complex.

“While we work on the passage of the bill that will kickstart the construction of a state-of-the-art Philippine Amateur Sports Train­ing Center, we urge our sports authorities to speed up the de­velopment and rehabilitation of our sports facilities,” said Angara, principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill 1716, which is now pending on second reading.

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