In terms of financial support and incentives, Zamboanga City could be the best place to live for aspiring national athletes.
City mayor John Dalipe on Monday turned over a check worth P700,000 to lady weightlifter Rose Jean Ramos for winning two golds and a silver medal in the WWF IWF World Youth Championships held in Mexico last June.
Her coach, Allen Diaz, also received cash incentives worth P350,000.
Zamboanga City is one of the few Local Government Units in the country that provide incentives for their athletes who win in international competitions.
Under the city’s Ordinance 565, a gold medal is worth P250,000, silver is P200,000 and bronze is P150,000.
Zamboanga City has become more active in producing sports heroes, especially weightlifters, following the silver-medal finish by its very own Hidilyn Diaz in the Rio Olympics in 2016. Diaz went on to win the country’s first Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, prompting the city to become more aggressive in supporting its weightlifters.
Dalipe reiterated his support for Zamboangueno athletes and the sports development program initiated by the City Sports Division, under Dr. Cecil Atilano, citing its benefits to the youth sector in the city.
Atilano said the documents granting incentives to other winners in Tashkent, Uzbekistan are being worked out, including Ramos herself, her younger sister Rosegie, Angeline Colonia, and Rosalinda Faustino.
The fabulous four accounted for 12 of the Philippines’ 15 gold-medal haul in the Asian Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championships in Uzbekistan held last July 15 to 25.
Their coaches Allen Jayfruz Diaz and Gregorio Colonia will also be given incentives.
The city’s incentives are outside of the cash bonuses the Philippine Sports Commission is giving national athletes, who excel on the global stage.