Deputy House Speaker and sportsman Mikee Romero has sweetened the pot for Filipino athletes vying for medals in the Tokyo Olympics.
Romero, a business magnate who has donned the national colors in shooting and polo, yesterday announced his own set of cash incentives for what he described as “the strongest ever Philippine delegation” to the Olympics.
“Out of my company’s expenses I will also put an additional motivation of P3 million for a gold, P2 million for a silver and and 1 million for a bronze,” he told the online version of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
“That is my ambag (contribution). That’s the least I can do,” he told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Romero, who was joined in the forum by NorthPort’s Erick Arejola, is pinning his hopes on golfer Yuka Saso, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and skateboarder Margielyn Didal.
“Triple threat,” said the PBA team owner.
Romero expects Team Philippines, which also boasts the presence of world champions Caloy Yulo of gymnastics and Nesthy Petecio of boxing, to deliver two to five medals of any color.
“I’m hoping lima (five). If we don’t reach two (medals) hindi naman failure ‘yan but I expect two to five medals — any color. Definitely, this is our strongest team in the Olympics,” he said.
Each gold for any Filipino athlete or athletes in Tokyo is now worth P33 million, silver P17 million and bronze P7 million. It’s the biggest cash bonanza ever put up in the history Philippine sports.
The Philippine Sports Commission, under the law, has put up P10 million for gold, P5 million for silver and P2 million for bronze. Business tycoons Manny V. Pangilinan of SMART, PLDT and Maynilad, and Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corporation then matched the government incentive.
Romero, who won a bronze in the 2019 SEA Games in polo, said the cash incentive would only get bigger once the medals come in.
“For sure, magkakaroon pa ‘yan. We in the House (of Representatives) can come up with an addendum for more funds to reward the athletes. I think it can reach P50 million (for gold),” he said.
“Looking at the list I consider this our strongest lineup ever. These are champions worldwide. Their track record and background show. Parang pinagsama-sama na lahat ng magagaling. Kulang na lang dito si Manny Pacquiao,” said Romero.