Palace: Warm welcome awaits Olympian Michael Martinez

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

MANILA -- A warm welcome awaits Michael Christian Martinez for representing the Philippines at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Martinez, who competed in figure skating, did the country proud with his performance.

"Ang tinitiyak ko lang po ay kinikilala natin ang mahusay na performance ni Michael Martinez, at nakikiisa tayo sa ating mga kababayan, at tiyak na makatatanggap siya ng mainit na welcome at pagkilala sa kanyang pagbabalik (We acknowledge his fine performance and are one with the Filipino people in making sure he will get a warm welcome upon his return)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

While he failed to advance to the next rounds, Martinez awed audiences --including Filipinos who watched the televised coverage -- with his performance in figure skating.

Many were particularly impressed that Martinez did well in an event where Filipinos are not expected to excel as the Philippines is a tropical country.

In the meantime, Coloma urged the private sector to help support Philippine athletes since the government lacks resources to do so by itself.

He said this is why President Benigno Aquino III had instructed that support be prioritized for events where Filipino athletes have a good chance of winning.

"Ang problema lang naman po kasi ay ‘yung paglalaan ng kaukulang pananalapi o resources dahil limitado po talaga ang resources ng pamahalaan dahil batid naman po natin ang prayoridad ay sa pagbabawas ng kahirapan, pagbibigay ng pagkalinga sa mga mahihirap at mga nangangailangang sektor (The problem is that the government has limited resources, and is prioritizing the use of such resources for poverty alleviation)," he said.

"Doon naman sa mga ibang larangan ay pwede rin namang himukin ang private sector na patuloy na sumuporta dito. So tulong-tulong lang po ang nakikita nating solusyon. Kung pagtutulungan po ng sambayanan, magbibigay tayo ng suporta sa mga mahuhusay na atleta katulad ni Michael Martinez at iba pa, ay sigurado naman pong makakamit natin ‘yung mga layunin natin sa larangang ‘yan (We can ask the private sector for help. The only solution we see is cooperation between government and the private sector to support excellent athletes like Martinez)," he added. (PNA)

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