President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses for posterity with the 2019 Southeast Asian Games medalists at the Malacañan Palace on December 18, 2019. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has promised to fully support Filipino athletes following their successful campaign in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

In a speech during the recognition of the SEA Games medalists in Malacañang Wednesday, the President said the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) pledged P100 million for the training of athletes who will participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Chief Executive said he will talk to lawmakers to give the athletes additional benefits particularly the grant of allowances while training.

“So I have another 100 million para… But ‘yan lang, I’m very strict about money and I am very strict about money and kailangan talaga — must be accounted up to the last centavo,” he said of Pagcor’s commitment.

“Wala akong ibigay ‘yang pera. Hindi man atin ‘yan eh. Hindi akin ‘yan. So ibigay ko ‘yan. And for the good and the interest of our country.”

The President said he is proud of the Filipino athletes, praising them for reigning over their neighbors in Southeast Asia.

“The blood, sweat and tears that you have shed to earn this prestigious recognition is truly inspiring,” he noted.

“I thus take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who played an integral part in its success. This outcome serves as a testament to the great things we can achieve when we work together.”

The President is hopeful that the milestone lights the torch for the nation’s renaissance in athletic glory encouraging everyone to continue supporting Filipino athletes who embody excellence, superiority and teamwork.

And through the distinct brand of Filipino resilience and determination to succeed, the diligence of the country’s organizing committee officials and partners, technical teams and the athletes, the hosting the 30th SEA Games became a success, according to the President.

The Philippines won 149 golds, 117 silvers, and 121 bronzes to claim the overall title in the biennial tournament held in the country for the fourth time.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte raises the overall champion trophy of the Philippine Team during the recognition of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games medalists at the Malacañan Palace on December 18, 2019. The Philippine Team emerged as overall champion in the recently-concluded 2019 SEA Games after garnering 149 golds, 117 silvers and 121 bronzes. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Almost P79-milion cash incentives were also given to SEA Games medalists. According to RA 10699, a gold medalist athlete will receive P300,000, P150, 000 for silver medalist and P60,000 for bronze.

President Duterte was assisted by Executive Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Cong. Bambol Tolentino, Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairman and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go during the distribution of cash incentives

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