Jinggoy backs Paralympians

(DAILY TRIBUNE) Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Friday filed a measure seeking to level the playing field among able-bodied athletes and those with disabilities relative to the granting of cash incentives.

In a statement, Estrada stressed that athletes with disabilities who joined in international competitions and brought pride to the country should not be discriminated.

“Our laws state that disabled persons have the same rights as other people. Thus, the State should give them ample support and there should be no distinction as to the prestige of the events that they’ve participated in,” he said.

Under his Senate Bill 1442 which seeks to amend Section 8 of Republic Act 10699, or the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act,” national athletes and athletes with disabilities who win medals in international competitions will be given equal cash incentives.

Estrada said the proposed measure aims to remedy the discrepancy of financial benefits among national athletes who demonstrate the same level of commitment, hard work, and excellence in sports.

“Our para-athletes should be entitled to the same cash incentives as other national athletes. Our laws should treat everyone equally especially if we’re striving for the promotion of sports excellence,” he stressed.

In the measure, Paralympians who bring home gold, silver, and bronze medals from the Summer and Winter Olympics shall be entitled to P10 million, P5 million, and P2 million cash incentives, respectively.

Under the existing provisions of RA 10699, Paralympians who bring home gold, silver, and bronze medals are entitled to only half of the said amount of cash incentives.