Duterte lauds Filipino Olympians, incentives given to them
President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the achievements of Filipino athletes in the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a 1996 Atlanta Games silver medalist as they received their incentives from the government.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics gold medalist Air Force Staff Sergeant Hidilyn Diaz received P15 million from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and P3 million from the Office of the President and the Presidential Medal of Merit awarded by Duterte.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics silver and bronze medalists in boxing, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial and Mansueto Velasco Jr, the silver medalist of 1996 Atlanta Olympic received the order of Lapu-Lapu (Rank of Kamagi) award from the president.
All of them received certificate of housing unit from the National Housing Authority with cash incentives from the Philippine Sports Commission and the Office of the President.
In his speech, Duterte congratulated the athletes "for bringing pride and honor to the country and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the COVID-19 pandemic."
"Your hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics, are truly inspiring. I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future," he said.
"Your success will continue to motivate many aspiring athletes and our Filipino youth to channel their energies into sports and other productive activities, keeping them away from the harmful vices," he added.
Duterte also expressed his gratitude to the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission for supporting the Filipino athletes.
"Allow me to thank the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission for their unwavering support and strong efforts in (ensuring) that our athletes were ready to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics," he said.
"Rest assured that the government remains committed in providing full support to our Filipino athletes. In this regard, I enjoin the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee, and other sports bodies to continue providing much-needed assistance to keep our athletes on top of their game and to help them become all-time greats," he added.
Duterte also "congratulated Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko for Tokyo’s successful hosting of the 2020 Olympics."
In the Twitter account of the Ambassador of Japan in the Philippines, the envoy said: ''These history markers are inspirations and their youthful energy is magnetic. I'm excited to see the path they forge in the future.''
Duterte also hoped that the 2020 Paralympic Games will '' become a resounding success.''
''It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes the world to support champions so that they can succeed in Olympics," he said.
"The strength and excellence of our athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit of resilience and determination to succeed. Our Tokyo 2020 medalists and Olympians truly embody our greatness as a people and as a nation," he added. Robina Asido/DMS