October 2, 2023

National athletes from the Cordillera region were elated to have received their full allowance for June from the Philippine Sports Commission.

“Thank God, it is still the full amount,” arnis athlete Eza Rai Yalong said.

The PSC earlier announced the reduction in half the monthly stipend of national athletes starting this month as a cost-cutting measure, as the bulk of their budget was returned to the national coffers to help in the efforts to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has stopped giving money to the PSC since gaming, where the money is sourced, had ceased.

This is the last. Next month, the allowance will be halved,” said Abegail Abad, the youngest member of the Philippine Arnis Team who won a gold in the 33rd Southeast Asian Games in Manila last year.

Athletes remain optimistic they would still get what has been allotted for them especially after a record-breaking performance in the SEAG.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go this week has suggested that the PSC just cut the monthly allowance but give the full retroactively once Pagcor resumes operation and give its share to the sports body.

Go’s suggestion came after hearing that the PSC board had decided to temporarily terminate the giving of the allowance to the athletes.

This is also good news for Crisamuel Delfin, a member of the arnis national team who hogged the limelight during the SEAG for refusing to wear underwear beneath his loincloth in his gold medal performance for the event.

Delfin, who grew up in La Trinidad, Benguet, is trying to build a house for his mother and family in Binangonan, Rizal where they are now based.

Delfin used most of his windfall in the 2019 SEAG to put up a Japanese surplus business for his mother in Binangonan where he is also enrolled at the Jose Rizal University.

Top tier athletes like boxer Nesthy Petecio also expected to see her P45,000 monthly stipend cut in half but was also glad to have gotten the full amount.

Other national athletes who are based in the Cordillera are boxers Josie Gabuco, Aira Villegas, and Olympics-bound Irish Magno.

Petecio and Magno immediately returned to Baguio after their Olympics qualifiers in Amman, Jordan before the enhanced community quarantine was declared in Luzon in mid-March. – PNA