SEAG CHAMPS  FETED  IN  PARADE

MANILA, December 6, 2005 
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - The celebration continues today when the victorious Filipino athletes in the just-concluded 23rd Southeast Asian Games are paraded in Makati City in the afternoon before they get to meet President Arroyo in the evening.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez yesterday said everything has been ironed out regarding the parade, which starts at Fort Bonifacio and ends in the business district of Ayala. The meeting with the President is set at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

"What Congressman Peping Cojuangco and I talked about was that there will be four groups of athletes who will take different routes. Then they will converge on Ayala," said the PSC chairman.

The national athletes, who won the overall crown in the recent SEA Games after collecting 113 gold, 86 silver and 92 bronze medals, will gather at Fort Bonifacio at 11 a.m.

The Philippine Olympic Committee, which is under Cojuangco, will handle the parade while the PSC will take care of the dinner party between the President and the hundreds of national athletes.

First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, who helped raise the funds that were used to train the RP bets, will also be present at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. He is expected to draw a big round of applause when he is introduced to the crowd.

"This is going to be a good dinner for the athletes because the President and the First Gentleman will both be there," added the PSC chairman.

The President and the First Gentleman also met with the national athletes during dinner at the Philsports Arena two weeks before the SEA Games. There, the President exhorted the athletes to do their best and make the country proud.

They did.

Tonight, the President will also formally announce the incentive package that awaits each of the Filipino medalist ó whether itís gold, silver or bronze. The coaches will have their own cash rewards for steering their respective wards to victory.

Under Republic Act 9064, Filipino medalist will get P100,000 for every individual gold, P50,000 for silver and P10,000 for bronze.

Thereís a different package for those in team events.

For teams with five or more members, a gold is worth P200,000, silver P100,000 and bronze P20,000; for teams with less members itís P100,000 for gold, P50 for silver and P10,000 for bronze.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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