Sunday, September 25, 2022

Onyok Velasco’s Reward For Winning in Olympics: 20 Years Delayed?

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Jam Primera
Jam Primera
Eats pressure for breakfast.

Negrense boxer Onyok Velasco reminds the government of his P2.5 million reward 20 years after victory.

Mansueto Velasco, also known to many as Onyok, has been so fed up of waiting for twenty years that he now reminds the government of the P2.5 million cash reward that is due to him.

Two decades past, Onyok competed in the men’s 48 kg. (light-flyweight) boxing category at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and took home the silver medal, the Philippines’ only medal at the Games at that time.

1996 Olympic Silver medalist Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco.
1996 Olympic Silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.

Based on the 1989 Republic Act No. 9064, national athletes, coachers, trainers shall receive cash grants and other monetary benefits.

In 1996, P5 million was allotted to a Filipino Olympian who would bring home the gold; P2.5 million for a silver medalist; and P1 million for a bronze medalist.

However, the law was amended in 2015, which raised the incentive for an Olympic gold medalist to P10 million, P5 million for a silver medalist and P2 million for a bronze medalist.

This is why weightlifter and Rio Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is promised of P5 million cash reward when she returns home on Monday.

Velasco said that he has not yet received the P2.5 million incentive offered by the government to national athletes who would bring home a silver medal in the Atlanta Olympics.

“Kasi yung iba po, kontrata yan eh, di natutupad, kaya yung iba nadismaya din magpursige,” said Velasco in response to a question on whether he has gotten the monetary reward that has been promised to him.

Onyok said he wants to receive the reward, aside from the monetary benefit it would bring him, he also wants to show Filipino athletes that the government is committed to giving cash incentives to motivate them to go for the first Olympic gold.

Velasco was informed that the measure allowing the government to give him such reward was approved in the House of Representatives but remained pending in the Senate.


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