(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) will establish an exclusive special incentive trust fund for national athletes who win medals in the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Olympics.

POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino announced on Monday the creation of the fund after the POC awarded checks representing the body’s incentives to medalists in last month’s Vietnam 31st Southeast Asian Games.

The POC, Tolentino said, will use as seed money the PHP2 million left from a total PHP13 million sourced from the body’s principal supporters -- Manuel V. Pangilinan’s MVP Sports Foundation, Ramon S. Ang’s San Miguel Corp. and Charlie Gonzales’s Ulticon Builders Inc.

“This trust fund is another milestone for the POC, it has never been done before and we are establishing the fund to motivate and inspire our athletes when they compete abroad,” said Tolentino, who also presided over the POC Executive Board meeting at the Knights Templar Hotel.

The POC financial incentives to the Vietnam SEA Games totaled PHP11 million -- PHP5.82 million for gold medalists, PHP3.2 million for silver medalists and PHP1.97 million for bronze medalists.

There were 227 Filipinos who bagged medals in Vietnam - 52 golds, 70 silvers and 105 bronzes.

“All donations from private corporations will automatically go to that incentive trust fund for athletes,” Tolentino said.

POC secretaries general Edwin Gastanes, Bones Floro, Carl Sambrano and auditor Chito Loyzaga and board members Dave Carter and Charlie Ho, as well as Athletes Commission’s Nikko Huelgas attended the meeting with treasurer Cynthia Carrion-Norton, first vice presidents Al Panlilio and Richard Gomez and board members Pearl Managuelod and Dr. Raul Canlas joining online.

MVP Sports Foundation head Jude Turcuato turned over the checks to the medalist athletes including Eumir Marcial, Agatha Wong and Merwin Tan.

Individual gold medalists will be receiving PHP100,000 each, PHP30,000 for silver medalist and PHP10,000 for bronze medalist. (PR)