Where’s the P2.5M Promised by the Government? Onyok Velasco

Netizens are asking justice for 1996 Atlanta Olympic Silver Medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.

After Hidilyn Diaz won a silver medal at Rio Olympics, most Filipinos are happy, but one man is filled with mixed emotions. He is happy because the country bagged another silver medal after 20 years, but he is also sad because of something he is about to be jealous.

Twenty years after he won a silver medal in boxing at the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996, Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco has yet to receive the P2.5 million incentive that was promised to him by the government, Velasco himself disclosed in a radio interview on Monday, August 8.

Velasco’s revelation came after Hidilyn Diaz bagged the silver in the 53-kg division of the women’s weightlifting competition at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Aside from weightlifting, 12 other Filipino athletes are competing in table tennis, athletics, swimming, boxing, and judo.

Velasco said that he has not yet received the P2.5 million incentive offered by the former Ramos 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.

(Well, it’s supposed to be a contract, and it hasn’t been followed, that’s why the others are discouraged from doing their best.)

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

Recalling back on 1996, it was former President Fidel V. ramos who promised Velasco of his P2.5M reward, but the promise, as usual, are made to be broken.

Mansueto’s expected money became just a memory after Ramos involved in a series of international trips. With 69 international trips, Ramos is second only to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whom had 127 international trips during his almost 2 terms as president.

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.

With her silver medal finish, Diaz is expected to receive P5 million from the government. /Rhea Elbalbuena/

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