MANILA, Aug 13 (Mabuhay) — Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William “Butch” Ramirez on Thursday said each member of the Philippine team to the Tokyo Paralympics will be receiving USD2,000 (PHP100,000) allowance.

“We make a quick referendum that we will be adding an additional USD2,000 for all the delegates–athletes, coaches, and officials,” Ramirez said in the PSC’s People Sports Conversations podcast.

This means the Tokyo Paralympic delegation would have USD3,000 (around PHP150,000) per member in Tokyo as the team now looks to give the Philippines its first Paralympic gold and second overall in an Olympiad since Hidilyn Diaz’s historic weightlifting gold in the Summer Olympics on July 26.

Ramirez said the increase in allowances is one way for the PSC to show “the spirit of attention we have to give to the [para] athletes.”

“Madalas itong nakakalimutan. Sa mga buildings, wala silang hagdanan. Palagi silang late at nakakalimutan (They always been forgotten. They have no special staircases in buildings. They are always late and being overlooked),” he added.

Ramirez said aside from meeting the cost of living in Tokyo, the allowance increase is done to boost the confidence of the Paralympians.

“Importante na maintindihan ng mga bata na (It is important for them to understand that) they go there not as differently-abled. They go there as Paralympians, kasi kung wala kang confidence sa sarili, pagpunta mo pa lang, talo ka na. So, sa Philippine Sports Commission, suporta lang kami. Kung yung (because if you don’t have self-confidence, the moment you arrive there, you already lose. So here at the Philippine Sports Commission, we’re just supporting. If) USD3,000 could motivate the Paralympic athletes, we will do that,” he said.

Wheelchair athlete Jerrold Mangliwan and discus thrower Jeanette Aceveda, powerlifter Achelle Guion, swimmers Ernie Gawilan and Gary Bejino, and taekwondo jin Allain Ganapin will represent the Philippines in the Tokyo Paralympics from Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

Mangliwan was designated to carry the country’s colors in the opening ceremony while Gawilan will have the same responsibility in the closing ceremony.

The para athletes thanked Ramirez and the commissioners, saying they are “happily overwhelmed with the love and care the sports agency has been giving them.”

They also vowed to bring their best game, enjoy the experience, and continue to aim for a podium finish.

Philippine Paralympic Committee president Michael Barredo also thanked the PSC board for increasing the allowances of the country’s Tokyo Paralympics team members.

“Our Paralympians are further motivated by your message chairman,” Barredo said. (MNS)

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