Guardo ordinance wants incentives for medal winners
Cebu City athletes who will win medals in big, international sports competitions will receive a bounty from the Cebu City government.
That is, if a proposed Cebu City ordinance granting incentives to Cebuano athletes who achieve podium finishes in international sports games, gets approved.
Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) commissioner Nimrod Quiñones said during a public hearing at the Cebu City Council last Tuesday that the incentives will inspire young athletes to strive hard in their respective sports.
“The incentives for athletes will be very good for them and also for the city’s sports program. It will encourage younger athletes to strive hard and make the city proud,” he said.
Under the proposed ordinance of Councilor Jerry Guardo, gold medalists in the Olympic Games will receive P1 million while silver and bronze medalists, will pocket P500,000 and P300,000 from the city, respectively.
For the Asian Games, gold medalists will receive P500,000, silver medalists will get P300,000, and bronze medalists will bag P200,000.
The same amounts will be given to medalists in the Paralympic Games.
Lastly, medalists in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games will get P300,000, P200,000, and P100,000 for gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.
According to Quiñones, the next Olympic Games will be held in 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The next SEA Games will be on 2019 and will be hosted by the Philippines while the next Asian Games will be in 2018 in Indonesia.
The Paralympic Games, which is for differently-abled athletes, are held on the same years as the three international games.
But according to Councilor Sisinio Andales, the incentives may be too much for the city government’s coffers.
“I find it rather too high to give these incentives to medalists. If we have a gold medalist in track and field, another in boxing, and also in other fields, how many millions will we spend? The city will be bankrupt. We have to balance everything here,” he said.
But CCSC chairman Edwin Hayco believes otherwise.
For one, he said it will be hard for Cebuanos, or even Filipinos to get a gold medal in the Olympic Games.
To recall, the country has yet to win a single gold in the quadrennial Olympics.
“I totally agree that it’s high. But the chances of even a Filipino winning is very low. Personally, I’m willing to take the chance for the P1 million incentive. Most, if not all real athletes are in the poverty line,” Hayco said.
Under the proposed ordinance, athletes that would qualify for the incentive should be a certified athlete or player by the chairman of the CCSC or the mayor of Cebu City.
They should also be a domicile or registered voter of Cebu City.
But Hayco suggested to the city council to not limit the qualifications to being Cebu City voters.
Instead, he said it should be changed to being of Cebu City ancestry or their parents should be Cebuanos. He said this is because there are some athletes that are not based in Cebu City but are still proud to trace their roots in Cebu.
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