BAGUIO CITY – Three months after their medal-winning feats in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) that helped propel the Philippines to the first-ever over-all title in the biennial meet, Baguio’s national athletes need yet to collect their bonus from the city government here, upon submission of documents required under government rules.
The athletes are either entitled to a PHP30,000; PHP20,000 or PHP10,000 windfall for gold, silver or bronze performance, respectively.
“I would be happy if I collect something since it will be the first time,” double gold medalist Stephanie Sabalo said.
“They always thought that I am Bisaya from Bacolod, but then, no, I am from Baguio, from Irisan to be exact,” said Sabalo, who is entitled to at least PHP80,000 windfall– PHP60,000 from her two gold medals and another PHPP20,000 for a silver finish.
She will have the biggest windfall from the bulk of the 40 athletes who won medals in the last SEAG.
Paul Rillorta of the city sports office said most of the athletes have yet to submit their requirements.
“Most of them have yet to submit the four requirements,” Rillorta said, who also screens the applicants since many are not actually from Baguio but from La Trinidad, Benguet or some other Benguet town, or other provinces like Kalinga, Mountain Province or even Ifugao.
Aside from being a bonafide Baguio resident, Rillorta said each athlete is required to submit a certificate of achievement, country result, and official result.
The updated version of the city sports code, expected to take effect anytime this year, will increase by more than ten-fold the incentive of the athletes depending on the event they joined.
“All must have the requirement before we can process since all are requirements of the accounting office and eventually the Commission on Audit,” Rillorata said.
Aside from Sabalo, the gold medal winners were: Divine Wally, Jeordan Domingues, Jearome Calica, Sandi Menchi Abahan, Elmer Manlapas, Abegail Abad, Gina Iniong, Ariel Lampacan, and Mark Striegl, among others.
However, athletes like Nesthy Petecio, Josie Gabuco, Carlo Paalam, Crisamuel Drelfin, Jianne Villa, Jean Claude Saclag and Jerry Olsim are actually non-Baguio residents so they are not qualified under sports incentive ordinance (Ordinance 20, series of 2016), Rillorta said.
“We really want to reward real Baguio residents and some of the athletes listed have already been rewarded by their respective local government units, although they study or train here,” he said.
Meanwhile, most of the gold medal winners from Baguio and the Cordilleras will be seeing each other at the Manila Hotel Friday night for the annual Philippine Sportswriters Association awards as part of Team Philippines that went home with 149 gold medals. (PNA)