From loQal.ph via Yahoo.ph
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed a bill; the Senate Bill 2741 that seeks to provide professional Filipino athletes with retirement, health care and death benefits provided that they have won prestigious titles for the Philippines.
It seeks to provide insurance coverage to athletes covered by the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) immediately upon winning any international professional sports competitions.
Filipino athletes who were former champions in their respective fields and who have reached the age of 50 will also receive a lifetime monthly pension of at least P15,000 for those who participated in individual events.
Those who participated and won in team sports will receive a lifetime monthly pension of P10,000.
If needed, hospitalization not covered by PhilHealth will be shouldered by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
These retired athletes shall also be entitled to a lump sum death benefit of P30,000 to cover for funeral expenses.
This is good news to many athletes, but the bill is still subject for approval by President Benigno Aquino III upon the joint recommendation of the Budget Secretary and the chairman of the Games and Amusement Board.
In November 2010, House Representatives also filed a similar proposal to grant champion Filipino athletes a monthly pension.
This consolidated version was through the efforts of Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Mark Aeron Sambar, South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar.
Athletes including Lydia de Vega, Elma Muros-Posadas, bowling hall-of-famer Paeng Nepumuceno and billiards world champion Efren “Bata” Reyes are expected to benefit from the bill once it is passed.
Earlier this year, boxing hero and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao had also raised the amendment of the Republic Act 9064 known as the Sports Incentives Law to help retired athletes in the country.
Pacquiao’s primary objective in the amendment of RA 9064 is to increase the incentives and widen the scope of the benefits to amateur athletes, especially amateur boxers.
He specifically cited Olympic boxers Leopoldo Serrantes and Anthony Villanueva who are suffering from sickness but are not getting enough support from the government.