December 5, 2023

The city council will most likely approve the proposed ordinance urging all establishments in Baguio to extend discounts to national athletes, coaches, and trainers as provided for by Republic Act 10699.
Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Levy Lloyd Orcales filed the proposed ordinance after Southeast Asian Games obstacle racing course gold medalist Sandi Abahan claimed she was denied a 20 percent discount when she purchased medicines for her recovery in one of the establishments in the city.
“I presented my athlete’s ID to avail of my supposed discount. The pharmacist judgingly smirked and said ‘athlete’s discount?’ She asked her manager, pero hindi pa rin nila binigay. And the pharmacist seemingly found that funny,” Abahan said in her Facebook post last year.
Bemedalled wushu athlete Agatha Wong also claimed she was denied a discount when she purchased medicines in a drug store in Manila even if she showed a Philippine Sports Commission-issued ID.
When these concerns reached the city council, the body has tasked Orcales to draft the proposed ordinance that seeks to inform and mandate concerned establishments to extend the discounts to national athletes.
Baguio is home to countless national athletes, many of them have won medals in international tournaments such as the recent 30th SEAG hosted by the country.
Signed on Nov. 13, 2015, the act expanded the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches, which also repealed Republic Act 9064, or the National Athletes, Coaches, and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001 or Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001.
Section 4 of the law provides that all national athletes and coaches be granted a “20 percent discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of transportation services, hotels, and other lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers and purchase of medicine and sports equipment anywhere in the country for the actual and exclusive use or enjoyment of the national athlete and coach.”
The same discount is given “on admission fees charged by theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure, and amusement for the actual and exclusive use and enjoyment of the national athlete and coach.”
It provides that national athletes and coaches could enjoy “free medical and dental consultations in government hospitals and similar establishments anywhere in the country and are covered under the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation through the sponsored program of the PSC. – Harley F. Palangchao