SAMSUNG  SWEETENS  OLYMPIC  POT

MANILA,  August 7, 2004
 
(STAR)
Samsung, a perennial backer of sports development in the country, yesterday said it will grant P1 million for an Olympic gold, P300,000 for silver and P100,000 for bronze, ensuring a windfall of incentives for the Filipino athletes competing in next week’s Olympic Games.

"This is in support to our collective desire of inspiring Filipino athletes," said Samsung president Sang Youl Eom.

Samsung’s commitment came after President Arroyo wished the Filipino athletes good luck in their quest for sporting excellence in the quadrennial games slated Aug. 13-29 in Athens, Greece.

The additional incentives package is apart from the mandatory incentives given by the national government pursuant to Republic Act 9064 whereby P5 million will be awarded for a gold medal, P2.5 million for a silver and P1 million for a bronze.

R.A. 9064 or the "National Athletes, Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act" was signed into law on April 5, 2001 and is the first sports bill signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

"Once again, the PSC is obliged for the solid commitment of Samsung, a perennial backer of sports development in the country, whose latest show of support will definitely boost the morale of our flag-bearers," said Philippine Sports Commission chairman Eric Buhain.

"The PSC, through the continuing guidance of the Philippine Olympic Committee and all stakeholders, is working for a sustainable incentive program – one that will fully establish a clear-cut direction and long-lasting benefits for our athletes," he added.

In 2002, Anthony Villanueva, 1964 Tokyo Olympics silver medalist, received P1 million from President Arroyo during formal award rites, while Roel Velasco, 1992 Barcelona Olympics bronze medalist and Leopoldo Serantes, bronze winner in the 1988 edition of the Games in Seoul, both received P400,000 each from the President.

Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco Jr., who won the silver in the 1996 Atlanta Olympiad, also received a boon of incentives from the government, as well as the private sector for his feat, which led to the promulgation of Administrative Order 352 or the "Gratuity and Monthly Incentive Allowance Plan" signed by then President Fidel Ramos on July 24, 1997.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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