Baguio to release P1.5-M for Batang Pinoy medal haulers

STUDENT ATHLETES. Mayor Benjamin Magalong exchanges pleasantries while congratulating one of the athletes during the recognition ceremony on Monday at the Baguio city hall as other athletes look on. (Photo courtesy of Redjie Melvic Cawis/ PIA-CAR)

BAGUIO CITY– About PHP1.5 million will be released by the city government anytime as an incentive for a medal haul during the Batang Pinoy finals, the city sports office said on Wednesday.

“We are just waiting for the official result and the certificate of achievement from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) which will be the basis for our release of the athlete’s incentives,” said Paul Rillorta of the city sports office.

He said the city has allotted the amount for the sports incentive program, as part of its annual budget, and is accessible anytime.

Rillorta said an ordinance mandates the giving of incentive for athletes who represent the city in major sports events, among them is the Batang Pinoy national finals, which was held in Puerto Princesa Palawan in the last week of August for this year.

He said the incentive is PHP10,000, PHP5,000, and PHP3,000 for every gold-silver- bronze medal, respectively, garnered by an athlete. Coaches will receive the same amount per medal of the athlete with a ceiling of PHP20,000.

The city made a 61-45-70 gold, silver, bronze finish, allowing it to retain the overall championship crown in the annual sports event for youth aged 15 and below.

In Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at city hall, the officials recognized the Baguio delegates who successfully defended their championship titles.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong and the City Council led by vice Mayor Faustino Olowan recognized the almost 300 athletes, coaches and other delegates in the Philippine Sports Commission-led event.

Baguio City retained its overall championship title for the third time against 248 other participating local government units nationwide.

The team also brought home PHP3 million cash prize for bagging the championship.

Cebu City came in second with a 36-34-35 gold, silver and bronze medals followed by Davao City with 31 gold, 34 silver, and 41 bronze finish, landing them in third place.

Other international sports heroes

On Monday, the city government also recognized two mix martial arts athletes- Lito Adiwang of Team Lakay and Ismael Bandiwan of Tribal Submission Team Torogi, who won in the ONE Warrior Series mix martial arts event held at Singapore on August 6.

The city government also recognized Baguio City’s multi-awarded ultra-marathon runner Marcelo Bautista, who finished 1st runner-up in the Crazy 24-Hour Endurance Run at Intramuros Manila on September 1.

In his message, Magalong commended the athletes for giving glory, not only to the city of Baguio, but also to the country.

He assured that the city government provides support to the sports programs and the athletes of Baguio. Liza Agoot /PNA-