Press Release
September 14, 2016


Senator Sonny Angara has filed a resolution commending Filipina Class 8 table tennis paralympian Josephine Medina who won a bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, ending the country's 16-year medal drought.

Angara said Medina is entitled to a P1-million cash incentive under the new athletes incentives law or Republic Act 10699.

"This is truly one of the noblest intentions of the law--to include our winning athletes with disabilities in the grant of cash awards from the government. The term 'national athletes' should encompass all athletes including those who are differently-abled as they undoubtedly deserve bigger incentives and benefits," said Angara, author and sponsor of RA 10699.

The 46-year-old flag-bearer claimed the second Paralympic medal for the Philippines after beating Germany's Juliane Wolf 3-0 on Tuesday morning (Manila time). Reigning champion Jungian Mao of China retained the gold title, while France's Thu Kamkasomphou took home the silver.

The country's first Paralympic medal was bagged by powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta when she won bronze in the 2000 Sydney Games.

Prior to the enactment of RA 10699, winning differently-abled athletes were granted only token incentives.

Dumapong-Ancheta was given a cash reward of P500,000 for her feat--P200,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission and P300,000 from then President Joseph Estrada.

Under the new law, Paralympics gold medalists will get P5 million each, the silver medalists P2.5 million each, and the bronze medalists P1 million each, while the coaches stand to get cash incentives equivalent to half of the amount the winning athletes will receive.

Just last month, Olympic weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won a historic silver medal and received P5 million in cash incentives.

"This is the first time our Filipino athletes won in both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, which is the counterpart of the Olympic Games for athletes with disabilities. Sumakto po ang ating pagpasa ng bagong athletes incentives law dahil talagang napakinabangan ito ng ating mahuhusay at world-class Filipino athletes tulad nina Hidilyn at Josephine," the lawmaker said.

Medina first qualified for the Paralympics in 2012 London where she fell short of podium finish, ranking fourth in table tennis women's singles Class 8 which includes athletes with moderate impairments of the legs, moderate impairments of playing arm, or moderate cerebral palsy, hemiplegia or diplegia.

Medina, a polio victim, carries a world ranking of No. 5 in the ITTF Para Table Tennis Women Class 8 Ranking List as of June this year after winning a gold medal in the Asean Para Games in Singapore in 2015.

Joining Medina in the 15th Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are powerlifters Dumapong-Ancheta and Agustin Kitan, swimmer Ernie Gawilan and wheelchair racer Jerrold Pete Mangliwan.

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