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Sports code needs fine tuning on rewards

MUTI-MEDALIST Islay Erika Bomogao she was in the IFMA World Muay Thai Championships recently. Photo from Eliza Consul

Barely six months after passing the Comprehensive City Sports Code and deep in the Covid-19 pandemic, the city has given the biggest paycheck to athletes for winning in an international sports competition and will be further tested when it approves a resolution today to recognize two homegrown athletes.

Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial and their respective coaches received a total of P1.65 million for winning medals in the Tokyo Olympics last August, although Marcial has yet to receive his check reportedly this week.

But after winning medals in the recently concluded IFMA World Muay Thai Championship, Erika Islay Bomogao and Aldrich Toralba will be the first home grown athletes to receive cash incentives that have been raised thanks to the new sports code and which was fully in effect after its implementing rules and regulation was passed last June.

However, the IFMA World Championship is not specifically mentioned in said section even the previous section (58) identified the event as one of events the new sports code recognize, particularly, the 10th and after the Southeast Asian Games.

How much they receive will be guided by section 59 of the sports code.

Under Item 6 of said section of the new sports code, SEAG winners get PhP60,000, PhP40,000 and PhP30,000 for gold, silver and bronze medals, up from the PhP30,000, PhP20,000 and PhP10,000 which the 2019 winners receive.

Item 8 of the same section identified recipients to be winners of “other international sports competitions with at least eight countries participating and/or qualifying competitions for ASIAN and WORLD level games.”

Under said category winning athletes will receive PhP30,000, PhP20,000 and PhP10,000 for gold, silver and medal, in that order and half to their coaches.

The IFMA world championship is the most prestigious and toughest muay Thai competition that the recently concluded one staged in Phuket, Thailand drew 30 countries and nearly 1,000 athletes. The number of participating teams/countries is nearly thrice that of the SEAG and there is Russia which dominated the recent event. There are also teams coming from Europe and the Americas.

When asked where the IFMA category falls, Orcales said that it will be up to the city sports office.

Paul Rillorta of said office said they still need to refer to the code so they can give the rewards the athletes deserve.

Moreover, in the case of the multi-medalist Bomogao, she may receive an incentive equivalent to her best performance.

Unlike in the past when athletes, and their coaches, receive cash rewards for the medals they won. For instance Stephanie Sabalo in the 2019 SEAG where she received reward money for her two gold, one bronze medals but only half since she competed as a pair – although her partner, Mark Angelo Marquez, is her husband.

“We have to apply to the highest but will conform with the code and sports office,” councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, who will file today a resolution commending the winning athletes for their wins and automatically segregate the amount for their reward.

Orcales added that a new clause could be added “on rationalization so we have budget for others.”

Bomogao won a gold medal in waikru, shared a gold with combat winner Philip Delarmino in Mai Muay. Then he took a bronze medal in the combat side.

Toralba, an alternative learning system, meanwhile, won the silver medal in waikru male.

Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Leeariel Lampacan lost in the first round, while Carissa Tarapen, a Cordillera Career development College criminology graduate, advanced to the third round but was stopped.

Delarmino won the gold in the Asian featherweight crown of the World Muay Thai Council last June in Dhubai where he competed with coach Billy Alumno.

Local coaches Edzel Ngina and Alumno will come home with the players to take a Christmas break before resuming bubble training early next year at the Benguet State University for the delayed 2021 SEAG on May in Hanoi, Vietnam on May next year.

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