Press Release
August 10, 2016

Koko bats for Pinoy athletes' benefits

Filipino pride is not enough to sustain our athletes.

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel points out the historic win of Hidilyn Diaz, finishing with an Olympics silver medal, is the needed trigger to revisit RA 10699 or National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act of 2015.

Although the law was lauded for its inclusion of persons with disability (PWD) in the roster of national athletes, it still has room for improvement, Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel said in a statement.

"The law has to be more inclusive and non-discriminatory," Koko said.

Koko is pushing for a more extensive definition of national athletes and international sports competitions, and full implementation of the law.

More than half a year after passing the law, the Philippine Sports Commission is yet to draft and issue the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). While it has not prevented cash incentives from being given to deserving athletes as provided in the law, the lack of an IRR has prevented its more wide-ranging provisions from being realized.

These other provisions include a close monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the support benefits and the direct impact to the performance of the athletes, discounts for various services, establishments, and sporting equipment. It also includes free medical and dental consultations around the country and scholarships in universities.

Koko has always been a staunch advocate of the Filipino athletes' welfare in promoting the country's excellence in sports.

He authored SB 3322, an Act for the Retirement, Health Care and Death Benefits of Professional Filipino Athletes when he was the Chairman on the Committee on Games, Amusement, and Professional Sports in 2013.

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