COVID-19 Crisis: 20% discount for Philippine athletes and coaches confirmed

COVID-19 Crisis: 20% discount for Philippine athletes and coaches confirmed

As I write this, the Philippines is slowly taking steps to move its economy forward gradually now that community quarantine rules have eased more. This means more businesses are allowed to operate and this means getting more of their workforce back to work to earn much-needed income. It’s sometimes mind boggling how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from China turned into a pandemic which halted most societies and economies around the world.

For Philippine team athletes and coaches, times are hard as well. Very recently, news have been published that their allowances for this month will be cut by half! According to the Manila Standard report, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) board decided to push through with the reduction following a May 29 board meeting with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). The remittance declared was reportedly P9 million for June 2020 which is a major drop compared to the P150.75 million PAGCOR remitted to PSC last March.

The National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was reported to have been severely affected as a result of health-related measures and lockdown implemented nationwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It sure is hard for athletes and coaches to train and develop themselves. Truly this is terrible news. Sports events, both local and overseas, have gotten cancelled.

All is not lost, however, as the PSC announced that its athletes and coaches will enjoy the benefits of a 20% discount for their needs.

Below is an excerpt from the article with text italicized and colored blue for clarity.

On Friday night, the PSC said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Regulation 13-2020, which paves the way for the discount clause to be fully implemented for all athletes.

“We have been looking forward to this and we are thankful that our athletes and coaches will finally enjoy the privilege they deserve,” said PSC chairman Butch Ramirez, whose organization has been working together with the BIR for the discount benefit to be fully enjoyed by local sportsmen.

The discount clause is part of Republic Act 10699, formally known as the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act”.

The discounts shall be applied to food, medicine, recreation centers, hotels, lodging establishments, and sports equipment purchases.

The PSC has already issued identification cards to national athletes, with booklets similar to those used by senior citizens for their own discounts, to follow.

With the reduced allowances and confirmed discount, the past week saw these really drastic announcements affecting the many athletes and coaches supported by the national government. Some things are won and some things are lost.

The COVID-19 crisis affected the private sector so much, it is expected that tax revenues on the part of the national government will be reduced on the short term at least. Think about all the many small businesses around the country that have closed down resulting job losses. Think about the national government’s efforts to support qualified people with cash assistance and other forms of relief.

Now think about the national athletes and coaches. They don’t just need cash to train efficiently for future sports events. They need private sponsorship, new sports equipment, solutions to their current problems, etc.

For more on Philippine sports and COVID-19 Crisis coverage, come back here soon.

Meanwhile, please check out my special features of 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) gold medalists John Chicano and Kim Mangrobang.

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