Filipino SEA Games medalists honored by Duterte at Malacañang; incentives handed

SEA Games gold medalist Rubilen Amit shakes President Duterte’s hand during the turnover of incentives for the Filipino medalists at Malacanang Palace.

Filipino medalists were rewarded abundantly for their exploits in the recent 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on Tuesday night with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte showing the love to the country’s sports heroes.

“There’s no other time that I feel so proud of my country because you are here. You did a good job and I’m very happy with the results,’’ Duterte told the athletes and coaches present during the courtesy call at Malacanang Palace.

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The government through the Philippine Sports Commission handed out almost P52 million in monetary incentives as provided for by the law, including P35 million for the 52 golds, 70 silvers and 104 bronzes collected by Filipino athletes in the SEA Games.

Besides the 258 medalists, a total of 62 coaches likewise received their cash bonuses with the medalists coming from 37 of the 38 sports where Team Philippines participated.

“It’s not really about winning, but going there just to give the country an image. Although I’m very happy that we collected a lot of medals, we should be proud of our athletes regardless if they won a medal or not,’’ said Duterte.