PRESIDENT Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday honored the Filipino athletes who participated in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, congratulating them for bringing pride to the country and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“Your hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics, are truly inspiring,” President Duterte said in a speech during the event held in Malacañang.
“I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future. 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.”
The President expressed his gratitude the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for ensuring that the country’s athletes were ready to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
The government remains committed to providing full support to Filipino athletes, President Duterte said as he urged the POC, PSC and other sports bodies to continue providing much-needed assistance to keep the country’s athletes at the elite level and attain greatness.
‘The strength and excellence of our athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit of resilience and determination to succeed,” he said. “Our Tokyo 2020 medalists and Olympians truly embody our greatness as a people and as a nation.”
At the same time, the President congratulated Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa for Japan’s successful hosting of the Olympics and wished for the success of the upcoming Paralympic Games.
Hidilyn Diaz, the weightlifter who won the country’s first ever gold medal in the Olympics, was awarded P15 million from the PSC and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and P3 million from the Office of the President. She was also conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit.
Silver medalists in boxing Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam were also given incentives, with each of them getting P5 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA and P2 million from the OP.
Boxer Eumir Marcial, who won a bronze medal, got P2 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA and P1 million from the OP.
Boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist, received P500,000 from the OP.
The Filipino boxers were also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kamagi.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.
Other athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics will receive P200,000 and Presidential citations.