Despite suffering from huge revenue losses due to strict lockdowns and temporary suspension of gaming operations at the height of the pandemic, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) never wavered in its commitment to local sports development.
The state-run gaming firm may have had to dig deeper into its coffers to help keep the country’s athletic programs up and running, but it managed to remit P1.487 billion to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for 2020 and 2021 alone as part of the government sports agency’s income share as mandated by Republic Act (RA) 6847.
On top of said remittances, PAGCOR has released a total of P45.19 million in 2021 up to March 2022 to cover the retirement benefits and cash incentives to athletes and their coaches who brought honor to the country with their triumphant participation in major international sports competitions .
Notable of these remittances was the P38.50 million cash incentives released by the agency to the athletes who made history after clinching medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Along with the adulation of her countrymen for achieving an outstanding feat, the lion’s share of PAGCOR’s cash windfall went to weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who received a total of P15 million for winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal and establishing new Olympic and national records.
Diaz’s fellow Olympics achievers, silver medal-winning boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, were rewarded with P5 million each, while another Filipino fighting pride, Eumir Marcial, received P2 million for his bronze medal conquest.
Also given cash incentives were said athletes ‘coaches and trainers, which was equivalent to 50% of their wards’ financial rewards.
The release of cash incentives to triumphant athletes is mandated by Republic Act (RA) 10699, otherwise known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, which provides financial rewards to athletes and their coaches who win in major international sports competitions.
PAGCOR also remitted cash incentives amounting to P1.8 million in 2021 for the medal-winning athletes in the Taipei 2018 Taekwondo Championship and another P1.65 million for the athletes and their coaches who copped prestigious honors in the Asian Weightlifting Championship held in Uzbekistan.
When the country hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019, the state-run gaming firm also donated P842.5 million to the PSC for the rehabilitation of major sports facilities including the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium inside the historic Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila as well as the Philsports Complex Multipurpose Arena in Pasig City. Said amount was on top of PAGCOR’s financial contribution to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee for the staging of the biennial meet.
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