In a heartfelt and resounding tribute to the nation’s athletes, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. embraced the champions of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) and the 12th ASEAN Para Games (APG) in Cambodia with doubled incentives, underscoring the country’s profound appreciation for their unwavering dedication and remarkable achievements.
The occasion at the prestigious Malacañang Palace resonated with warmth and gratitude as President Marcos honored over 300 Filipino medalists who brought glory to the nation.
With uncontained enthusiasm, President Marcos declared, “Ipinagmamalaki namin kayo, kaya susuklian namin ang inyong ginawang sakripisyo at dinalang dangal para sa ating mahal na Pilipinas,” encapsulating the collective sentiment of a nation proud of its athletes. The President’s commitment to recognizing and amplifying the feats of Filipino athletes exemplified his unwavering support for sports excellence during his administration.
The President’s benevolent gesture involved doubling the cash incentives stipulated under Republic Act 10699, a move that reverberated with the spirit of unity and appreciation. The law delineates substantial rewards for medalists, with gold medalists from the SEAG receiving P300,000, silver medalists taking home P150,000 and bronze medalists securing P60,000. Correspondingly, APG medalists were awarded half of these amounts per medal, acknowledging their extraordinary achievements.
The event at Malacañang Palace was graced by a distinguished assembly of personalities, including the esteemed Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richard Bachmann, PSC Commissioner Bong Coo, Commissioner Fritz Gaston, Commissioner Edward Hayco, Commissioner Walter Torres, and Executive Director Paulo Tatad. Eminent figures such as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman & CEO Alejandro Tengco, Senator Francis Tolentino, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Bambol Tolentino, and Philippine Paralympic Committee (PPC) President Michael Barredo also participated, highlighting the collective commitment to honoring the nation’s sporting heroes.
In his address, Chairman Bachmann eloquently captured the essence of the athletes’ triumphant journey, stating, “With a great deal of challenges and circumstances, this batch of national athletes managed to overcome. You have reminded this nation that our resiliency is a gift that allows us to conquer obstacles in pursuit of greatness.” The athletes’ indomitable spirit, resilience, and commitment to excellence served as a testament to their enduring determination to excel on the global stage.
Team Philippines’ exceptional achievements were resoundingly evident in their medal haul from the 32nd SEA Games, where they secured 260 medals, comprising 58 gold, 85 silver, and 117 bronze. Their extraordinary dedication and hard work resonated further in the 12th APG, where they set a historic record with a remarkable tally of 117 medals, including 34 gold, 33 silver, and 50 bronze.
President Marcos’s commitment to bolstering the nation’s sports prowess reflects his steadfast dedication to elevating the Philippines’ standing in the international arena. As Filipino athletes revel in the honor and rewards of their well-deserved victories, their inspirational journey continues to serve as a beacon of hope, unity, and aspiration for the nation. President Marcos’s gesture of gratitude and encouragement resonates far beyond the event, solidifying his legacy as a leader who values and uplifts the nation’s sporting spirit.