Press Release
August 9, 2016

Even without implementing rules
Recto: Olympic silver medalist must get tax-free P5 M prize, other perks

Aside from the P5 million cash reward, other benefits like free state college education and a generous retirement package await Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz.

Diaz's coach will also go home P2.5 million richer as the new law hiking the incentives for victorious Filipino sportsmen cover coaches as well, said Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto, co-author of Republic Act 10699.

Recto said athletes and coaches who win in international competitions are qualified to receive scholarship benefits in the form of full "tuition fees from state colleges or universities for a college or university degree."

And when they retire, they will receive a lump-sum equivalent to 25% of their total cash incentives computed from the start of their active sports career as a member of the national training pool or national coaches training pool.

Recto said incentives authorized by "The National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act of 2015" for national athletes and coaches, whether they win medals in international competitions or not, include:

  • The grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of transportation services, hotels and other lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine and sports equipment anywhere in the country for the actual and exclusive use or enjoyment of the national athlete and coach;

  • Minimum of twenty percent (20%) discount on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement for the actual and exclusive use and enjoyment of the national athlete and coach;

  • Free medical and dental consultations in government hospitals and similar establishments anywhere in the country;

  • Coverage in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) of PhilHealth through the sponsored program of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC);

  • A comprehensive social security program to be formulated by the Social Security System (SSS) within one hundred eighty (180) days from the approval of the law;

  • Priority in existing livelihood programs being undertaken by various government agencies subject to the guidelines and qualifications by the implementing body;

  • Priority in national housing programs, affordable "pabahay" loans and other housing opportunities subject to the guidelines and qualifications set by the National Housing Authority (NHA) or the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF);

  • Use of living quarters and training centers set up and maintained by the PSC for the exclusive use of national athletes while preparing and training for international competitions; and

  • A P30,000 aid to cover the funeral expenses of a deceased athlete or coach. Also covered by this provision are the athlete's or coach's "primary beneficiaries."

Signed by President Aquino on November 13, 2015, RA 10699 mandates that athletes like Diaz who bag silver medals in Summer Olympic and Winter Olympic Games are given a tax-free cash reward of P5 million each. Olympic gold medalists are given P10 million, while bronze medalists get P2 million.

Recto said coaches of national athletes will also receive cash incentives if they have personally trained and rendered service to the athletes or teams who win in international competitions at least six months prior to the international competition.

The incentives for the coaches shall be equivalent to half of the cash incentives for gold, silver and bronze medalists. In case of more than one coach, the cash incentives shall be divided among themselves.

While RA 10699 requires the PSC and 10 other bodies to draft and issue the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) within 60 days after its enactment, "the absence of such IRR does not prevent the grant of incentives to winning athletes," Recto said.

He said Congress had anticipated delays in the promulgation of the IRR so that it included a provision that "the failure of the PSC to promulgate the rules and regulations shall not prevent the implementation of this Act upon its effectivity."

"Diaz and her coach need not wait for the PSC to draft the implementing rules. They must be given the cash incentives immediately upon arriving home," said Recto.

But due to the "cross sectoral" nature of award, it would still be advisable for the agencies to convene and draft the IRR, Recto said.

Within 60 days of its enactment, the law mandates the PSC to promulgate and issue the IRR in consultation with the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the National Paralympic Committee of the Philippines (NPC Phil), DOH, DepEd, CHED, TESDA, DOF, BIR, PAGCOR, PhilHealth and other agencies concerned.

RA 10699 is principally authored by Sen. Vicente Sotto III, with co-authors that include Recto and Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Ramon Revilla, Jr., Pia Cayetano, Juan Edgardo Angara and Cynthia Villar.

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