In a bid to ensure equality and inclusivity among sportsmen who have brought honor and pride to the country, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is batting for amendments in the law to level the playing field among able-bodied athletes and those with disabilities insofar as the grant of cash incentives is concerned.
“Hindi dapat maging batayan kung may kapansanan ba o wala ang isang atletang lumahok sa international competitions at nagbigay ng karangalan sa bansa sa pagbibigay ng kaukulang incentives,” Estrada said.
“Our laws state that disabled persons have the same rights as other people. Thus, the State should give them ample support and there should be no distinction as to the prestige of the events that they’ve participated in,” he added.
To this end, Estrada has filed Senate Bill No. 1442 which seeks to amend Section 8 of RA 10699, or the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act,” to institutionalize equal cash incentives to national athletes and athletes with disabilities who win medals in international sports competitions.
The measure, the seasoned lawmaker explained, aims to remedy the discrepancy of financial benefits among national athletes who demonstrate the same level of commitment, hard work, and excellence in sports.
“Our para-athletes should be entitled to the same cash incentives as other national athletes. Our laws should treat everyone equally especially if we’re striving for the promotion of sports excellence,” Estrada stressed.
In the measure, paralympians who bring home gold, silver, and bronze medals from the Summer and Winter Olympics shall be entitled to P10 million, P5 million, and P2 million cash incentives, respectively.
Under the existing provisions of RA 10699, paralympians who will bring home gold, silver, and bronze medals are entitled to only half of the said amount of cash incentives.
Estrada also proposed the grant of P2 million to gold medalists in the Asian Para Games and increase the current P150,000 incentive to P300,000 for those who will bag gold medals in the ASEAN Para Games.
He likewise sought to have the cash incentives for silver and bronze medalists in Asian Para Games and ASEAN Para Games doubled from the current amount.