AT LAST, the national athletes in team sports will soon receive the remaining 50 percent of their June and July allowances. All thanks to the Republic Act 1194 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez was so elated by the support of the President, the Congress, and the Senate for including the national team in the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or also known as Bayanihan 2.
Through Bayanihan 2, 199 athletes and 39 coaches of the aquatics-water polo, baseball, dragon boat, handball, ice hockey, softball, underwater hockey, and volleyball national teams will also get their full allowances from August to December 2020.
Ramirez, in a PSC press statement, was quoted as saying, "A community coming together really makes a whole lot of difference."
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham Tolentino, also representative of the 8th District of Cavite, had the most significant contribution to the reinstatement of the national athletes and coaches' allowances as he was the one who lobbied for its inclusion in the Bayanihan 2 proposal.
The PSC received P180 million funding under the Bayanihan Act 2. The national sports agency is expediting the procedure so recipients can claim their allowances in December.
National athletes of individual sports, too, will also claim their allowances. All national athletes and coaches will also receive a "special amelioration package" from the government.
This is really a welcome relief for the athletes and their families who are also not spared from the ill effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. Some, if not most, of our athletes have become breadwinners and they send a portion of their allowances to their families in the provinces monthly.
The allowance cut was necessary after P900 million from the PSC budget had to be returned to the national treasury to augment the funds for the country's Covid-19 response.