- President Duterte granted Hidilyn Diaz an additional P2M on top of her P5M incentive from the government
- He hoped that it would inspire other athletes to continue working hard as a reward awaits their sacrifice
- Diaz arrived back in the Philippines on Thursday afternoon and was able to make the courtesy call at 10 in the evening
After putting an end to the twenty-year medal drought of the Philippines, Hidilyn Diaz returned home with a hero’s welcome as she flew to Davao City with a connecting flight from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 on late Thursday evening.
The silver medalist made a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte at the Presidential Guest House in Pandacan, four hours after her arrival in the country.
After receiving a congratulatory salute from the head of the state himself, she was awarded her P5 million incentive for bagging the second place in the 53-kg category of the women’s weightlifting event in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But that was not the only cash that Diaz was set to have, as Duterte admitted of adding another P2 million on top of the government’s incentive to the athlete.
According to Duterte, “honor in sports is very hard to get by.” Through his action, he aimed to inspire and encourage other participants that a reward awaits them after their hard training and sacrifice.
When asked on where she intends to spend her money on, Diaz shared that she plans to purchase a lot beside their house and have a weightlifting gym built.
Aside from the astounding total amount of P7 million, the Zamboanga native was also set to receive a long list of benefits brought by the Republic Act 10699 (RA 10699), also known as the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act.
Under the bill, gold medalists would receive P10 million, silver with P5 million, and bronze with P2.5 million. Moreover, coach of the athletes who clinched a spot among the top 3 ranks will receive half of the equivalent incentive the medalist would earn.
The 25-year old Rio hero had a brief press conference and photo op at the airport before she boarded a Cebu Pacific flight en route to Davao City.
Diaz was originally booked to spend a night at Resorts World Manila with her family until the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) arranged her transportation for the courtesy call.