Promoting inclusivity and equality in sports, Bong Go proposes additional incentives for National Para Athletes who win medals in international sports competitions

In his efforts to recognize the outstanding performances of para-athletes, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Chair of the Senate Committees on Health and Sports, proposed the provision of additional incentives for national para athletes who win medals in international sports competitions.

Senate Bill No. 2116, which Go filed this May 2023, seeks to amend Section 8 of Republic Act No. 10699 or the “National Athletes And Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.”

The proposed bill acknowledges the remarkable achievements of para athletes and dedication to their cause, and provide the necessary support to further promote para sports in the country.

“Para athletes overcome tremendous challenges and display remarkable determination and skill to compete at the highest level of international sports competitions. However, their exceptional accomplishments often go unrecognized or are overshadowed,” Go remarked.

“I seek to rectify this by championing their cause and proposing additional incentives to reward their outstanding performances,” he highlighted.

If passed, the bill shall upgrade the incentives for para athletes to be at par with other international competitions of the same caliber. The proposed measure intends to provide equal opportunities and recognition to all athletes, thereby promoting inclusivity and diversity in sports. These financial incentives also aim to recognize their hard work, dedication, and perseverance while also providing support for their continued athletic endeavors.

“Let us continue to promote inclusivity and equality in sports. Para athletes deserve the same recognition, support, and opportunities as their able-bodied counterparts. By providing additional incentives, my proposed measure aims to recognize their hard work, dedication, and perseverance while also providing support for their continued athletic endeavors,” the senator underscored.

“The provision of incentives also aims to inspire future generations to embrace para sports and pursue their athletic dreams, encouraging young individuals with disabilities to participate in sports, fostering a culture of inclusivity and empowerment,” he added.

Go likewise continues to push for the “Philippine National Games (PNG) Bill”. PNG is envisioned to be a national multi-sport tournament that aims to widen the base talent identification and efficiently constitute the national pool to be trained for international sports competitions.

“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I am one with President Marcos Jr. in highlighting the importance of sports in nation-building. I reiterate my firm commitment to always look after the welfare of our athletes and to push for long-term and grassroots sports development,” Go previously cited.

“These will both help our country become one of the sports powerhouses in Asia again and also encourage our young people to stay away from illegal drugs and criminality by getting into sports,” he continued.

Go has been consistently supporting Filipino athletes who are competing in international competitions. In 2021, following a request from the Philippine Sports Commission coursed through Go, the Office of the President previously approved the additional allowance to athletes who competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in Japan.

The senator likewise sponsored and defended additional funding for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) during its 2023 budget deliberation, particularly for grassroots sports development and in support of athletes joining international competitions.

“Gaya po noon, full support po ako sa ating mga atleta. In fact, ang na-aprubahan po na proposed budget sa PSC noon ay more or less PhP200 million lang. Ako po ang nagsulong na madagdagan po ng PhP1 billion ang (2023) budget po ng PSC para po sa grassroots program at para po suporta sa ating mga atleta nagko-compete po sa SEA Games, Asian Games and even sa Olympics,” Go cited in an ambush interview after his visit to Tondo, Manila on May 10.

Last May 12 to 13, Go personally visited Cambodia and showed his support for the Filipino athletes competing in the SEA Games, together with his colleagues Senate President Miguel “Migz” Zubiri and Senator Francis “Tol” Tolentino, among other officials