MANILA - Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping said they cannot provide cash incentives to medalists in the 2009 Southeast Asian Para Games in the absence of a provision in the law.

He said that only regular athletes who win medals in the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, Olympics and World Championships are covered by Republic Act 9064 or the Athletes’ Incentives Act.

Click here for stories and updates on the Sinulog 2010 Festival.

Angping was reacting to the complaint by Philspada president Michael Barredo during a Senate committee hearing conducted by Senate games and sports chairman Sen. Gregorio Honasan and Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Barredo, president of Philippine Sports Association for the Differently-Abled (Philspada), said the PSC did not extend cash incentives to the 64-man RP team that won 23 golds, 24 silvers and 27 bronzes in the 2009 Asean Para games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“It was just a practice when Michael Barredo was still commissioner of the PSC. But now, it’s hard to give if it is not stipulated in the law that provides incentives to athletes,” said Angping.

He said that they are going to submit a draft resolution in the next Congress for an amendment in RA 9064, which will include athletes with disabilities in the government’s incentives program.

“The law is very clear. But it only says regular athletes.

There is no mention of the athletes with disabilities. If we are not mandated by the law, we cannot also give (incentives) because we can be questioned,” said Angping.