by: Mickey Ingles
With the Jakarta Asian Games in full swing, it’s once again time to take a look at what’s in store for our athletes if they manage to snag some medals. Aside from the fame, the glory, the media appearances, and commercial endorsements, there’s also a small pot of
gold pesos waiting for our Filipino and Filipina medalists. They’ve got the RA 10699 or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act to thank for that. (Click here for the Olympic edition and the SEA Games edition of this law.)
According to the Incentives Act, the cash incentives for individual medalists for the Asian Games are as follows:
So, Agatha Wong, who just won a bronze medal for wushu, now has P400,000 in her name. Woohoo! Congrats, Agatha!
The moolah for team events is considerably less than those for individual athletes. For team events, each team member will only receive 25% of what individual members get. If our basketball team brings home the golden bacon (yes, I just said golden bacon), Jordan Clarkson is entitled to P500,000—roughly US$9,300, which is about just 25% of his daily salary with the Cleveland Cavaliers this 2018/2019 NBA season. (Computing that made my head hurt, and also made me think twice about my chosen career, which in the end doesn’t really matter because I have the height of a giant hobbit)
For teams with less than five participants, the entire team will get the same amount as individual athletes. And they have to divide this equally among them. Our women’s taekwondo team recently bagged the bronze for the team poomsae. So, Juvenile Faye Crisostomo, Rinna Babanto, and Janna Olivia will all share in the P400,000 pot. Our men’s taekwondo poomsae team will get the same for their bronze-winning effort. Congrats!!!
Of course, money isn’t the main reason why our athletes trained for years and made the journey to Indonesia. Playing for the flag is and will always be a dream come true. But still, I don’t think our athletes will complain if Congress increases these incentives.
In any case, laban, Pilipinas! Puso!
Mickey Ingles is the editor-in-chief of Batas Sportiva. Shout-out to his dad, Eric Ingles, who’s sitting as a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport Ad Hoc Division for the Asian Games!