MANILA, Philippines-Following Pinay weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’ historic win as a silver medalist at the Rio Olympics, former Olympian boxer and silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, Jr. said he is yet to receive the P2.5 million grant the government promised to give him 20 years ago.
The 42-year-old retired boxer took home the silver medal after competing in the light-flyweight boxing division at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
In his radio interviews on Monday, Velasco said several lawmakers vowed to give him monetary and other forms of incentives. However, he said he is yet to receive these incentives.
“Kasi yung iba po, kontrata yan eh, di natutupad, kaya yung iba nadismaya din magpursige,” Velasco revealed.
But in a 2014 report of Philippine Star, Velasco was allegedly given a one-time cash incentive amounting to P750,000. In addition, he is reportedly receiving P7,000 as lifetime monthly pension.
Senate Minority leader Ralph Recto said the Senate would look into the matter since the current law no longer applies to Velasco’s case. Velasco, based on the the 1989 Republic Act No. 9064 in 1996, should receive a cash grant of P2.5 million and other monetary benefits for bringing home a silver medal. Meanwhile, athletes who would bring home the gold will get P5 million and bronze P1 million.
Incentives for Olympians has now been raised to P10 million for gold medalists, P 5 million for silver medalists and P2 million for bronze medalists after the said law was amended in 2015.
What other benefits will Diaz get as Olympic silver medalist?
Aside from the expected P5 million cash reward, Diaz will also receive the following benefits, according to a report by Rappler.
- free state college education
- “generous” retirement package
- 20% discount on transportation, restaurants, hotels, recreation as well as purchased of medicine and sports equipment
- free medical and dental consultation in government hospitals
- minimum of 20% discount on amusement parks, cinemas, concerts, carnivals and leisure parks
- Philhealth coverage
- comprehensive social security program
- housing opportunities and affordable housing loans
- P30,000 aid for funeral expenses
- use of training centers and living quarters set up by the Philippine Sports Commission