Sat. Sep 25th, 2021

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz will receive a cash incentive worth P3 million from President Rodrigo Duterte for giving the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Duterte made the announcement, after Diaz paid a “virtual” courtesy call on him on Wednesday night, few hours after she arrived onboard Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 427 from Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“Maybe one of these days, if you have a time, communicate with us, so I can give you the P3 million,” Duterte told Diaz.

The P3-million monetary reward is on top of the P10 million she will receive from the government through the Philippine Sports Commission, as provided under Republic Act (RA) 10699.

Apart from the cash grant, Diaz would also receive a “fully-furnished” house and lot in Zamboanga City, Duterte said.

Duterte said he would also confer the Presidential Medal of Merit, “one of the highest of the nation’s presidential medals,” on Diaz through an “appropriate” ceremony.

“As expected the nation is ecstatic about your achievement. Your achievement is the achievement of the Philippine nation. We are extremely proud. We cannot express even in the words how we should really be shouting Hallelujah,” he said. “But, over and above for this monetary consideration, it’s always the honor that you brought to the country.”

Due to movement restrictions amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, Diaz was instead given an “online” hero’s welcome with only few government and sports officials received the first Olympic gold winner and her team together with skateboarding finalist Margielyn Didal at the NAIA.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioners Celia Kiram and Charles Maxey welcomed Diaz and Didal. She was officially promoted as a Staff Sergeant while at the NAIA VIP Lounge.

Meanwhile, to honor her accomplishment, the PAL gifted Diaz with 80,000 miles per year, equivalent to five economy roundtrip domestic flights, or two roundtrip economy regional flights, or one roundtrip economy international flights. This also makes her az as PAL’s first “Forever Fyer”

Diaz ended the Philippines’ nearly a century-old Olympic gold medal quest that began in the Paris 1924 Games, after she snatched the gold medal in women’s 55 kilogram weightlifting category on Monday night.She prevailed in a neck and neck showdown with China’s Liao Qiuyun.

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