SEA GAMES-BOUND PINOY ATHLETES GET PLEDGES WORTH P22-MILLION

Manila, August 15, 2003 (STAR) First Gentleman Jose Miguel T. Arroyo led a pledging session that generated some 22 million pesos for the training of Filipino athletes bound for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam next December.

Speaking before reporters in Malacaņang, Arroyo said at least 15 top corporations have vowed to contribute an aggregate 22.25 million pesos for the Filipino athletes.

Arroyo said the corporate donations would go directly to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

Branding the session as a "call for patriotism," he also thanked those who responded generously in support of the athletes.

Among those who made substantial pledges were San Miguel, the Ayala Group, PLDT, Aboitiz, Smart, Globe, Fortune, Petron, Samsung and PNB.

Arroyo expressed optimism that the First Gentleman Foundation, Inc. (FGFI) would hit its 24-million peso target to be used for the last three training months of the athletes.

Arroyo is the honorary head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2003 SEA Games.

Likewise, the husband of President Gloria Arroyo challenged the athletes to do their best to get the targeted 60 to 80 gold medals in the Vietnam SEA Games.

Meanwhile, PSC Chairman Eric Buhain thanked the First Gentleman for his efforts that boosted the spirit and morale of the Filipino athletes.

Buhain said gold medals are expected in athletics, wushu, wrestling, chess, boxing, taekwando, karate and swimming.

Close to 500 athletes are being trained, 85 of whom are potential gold medalists


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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