BAGUIO CITY (3 Dec) – Looks like an early Christmas for Baguio-based national athletes.
After four months of getting only half of their monthly stipend, national athletes Wednesday, November 2, have started celebrating an early Christmas after the Philippine Sports Commission has released the withheld portion of their allowance from July to October.
“We got it Wednesday,” said arnisador Eza Rai Yalong as she said that this will help in further improving their house.
“Nice, ada retro (Nice, the retro is already in),” she told this writer through Facebook message.
Yalong was referring to the retroactive allowance withheld by the PSC.
“May pambili na ng tiles (I can now buy tiles),” she said in the effort to complete portion of their house where construction stopped the past months due to PSC putting hold their allowances to help in the fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
However, the promised P5,000 to help out the athletes during the “trying times” due to the pandemic has yet to be released.
“There is no ayuda yet,” she added referring to the PSC support to all athletes like the P5,000 given by the national government through the Department of Social Welfare and Development for cash strapped families during the pandemic.
Last November 27, eight athletes mostly martial artists received finally their cash incentive from the city.
They were the second batch of athletes to receive from the city for their efforts in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games where they won medals.
The incentive of the eight athletes were withheld as their residence were questioned. After they showed their proof of residency in Baguio, the city decided to release their incentive which P30,000 for a gold medal, P20,000 for a silver and P10,000 for a bronze medal.
Yalong, was among the first six athletes to receive the incentive along with siblings Jerry and Jenalyn Olsim, gold and silver medal for kickboxing and muaythai, respectively, Jean Claude Saclag (gold, kickboxing), Leeariel Lampacan (gold, muay thai) and Crisamuel Delfin (gold, arnis anyo).
“May pambili na siya ng motor nya (She has money to buy herself a motorbike),” Yalong said of Jenelyn Olsim after she posted a video of the latter counting money.
The Olsims resides in San Carlos Heights as she usually rides with her brother for training – Mondays at 10 AM at the Baguio athletic bowl and other days at the stairs of the Lourdes Grotto.
Last Monday, kurash gold winner Esthie Gay Liwanen received her check, while Mariane Mariano, bronze in sambo, were able to get their incentive.
“Salamat sa lahat ng tumulong,” said the former judo player Liwanen, who received her check.
Silver medalist for kickboxing Jomar Balangui was the last to receive his incentive after showing his proof of residency on November 27.
“He was last to get his incentive for failing to submit his proof of residency. But then we were able to process his papers and get the approval of the accounting office to release it,” said Paul Rillorta of the city sports office.