President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo raised from P10.5 million to P15 million the cash pot for the gold medal that Team Philippines will win in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The President made the announcement during the courtesy call of Team Philippines on her at Malacanang’s Heroes Hall.
An Olympic gold medal would be first for the Philippines. The country has been participating in the World Games for 84 years, or since 1924, but has come up with only nine medals, none of them gold.
The Philippine Olympic Commission had earlier announced that the athlete who wins the first Philippine Olympic gold will receive P10.5 million, but the President added P4.5 million, to make it P15 million.
The President also gave $1,000 allowance to each of the athletes.
In this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing from Aug. 8 to 24, the Philippines is sending 15 athletes who will compete in eight sports disciplines: boxing, taekwondo, shooting, archery, diving, swimming, athletics, and weightlifting.
Reigning World Boxing Council lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao was appointed by the President as the country’s special Olympics envoy and flag-bearer during the parade of nations. (PIA/Bohol)