House panel considering monthly pension for retired Olympians

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
House panel considering monthly pension for retired Olympians
From medal hauls to record breaking performances, there was no shortage of great moments for Team Philippines in Tokyo 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The House youth and sports committee on Wednesday considered a legislation that would provide retired Filipino olympians with a lifetime monthly pension of at least P15,000 — an amount that a lawmaker said would honor the athletes’ lifetime of “perseverance and sacrifice.”

House Bill 3523 seeks to provide retired Filipino Olympians who reach the age of 50 with a fixed monthly premium separate from the mandatory retirement benefits availed under existing laws regardless of performance.  

The measure amends Republic Act (RA) 10699 or the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act of 2001, which grants a lump sum amount only to retired national athletes and coaches who previously won in an international competition. The cash grant is equivalent to 25% of the recipient’s incentives computed from the start of their active sports career as a member of the national training pool up to the last day of retirement from active competition.

Safety net

Athletes in most sports typically retire by their 30s to 40s,  after which it may be “too late to start a new career,” forcing some to work jobs “far from what they are passionate about,” said Rep. Eric Buhain (Batangas, 1st District), the author of House Bill 3523 and himself a former competitive swimmer turned sport administrator. 

“While it takes a lifetime to be considered an Olympian, their actual career span is short,” Buhain added.

The Philippines has at least 100 living Olympians at present, based on the Philippine Olympians Association’s monitoring.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body of the Olympic Games, has long been concerned about the career transition prospects of competing athletes. 

In a white paper published on its website, the IOC described how all athletes must eventually prepare to transition away from their elite sports career, especially as “athletes will have little to no experience of a full-time job,” and some may have “missed out on college or university due to your sporting commitments.”

Buhain said that his bill would help “rectify the situation by recognizing the retired FIlipino Olympians’ exceptional service and providing essentials that benefit them.”

“We are assuring their transition from the podium to a dignified and secured life,” the lawmaker added.

During the hearing, the committee also heard reports of the uneven implementation of the 20% discount for national athletes and coaches on their purchases of goods and services from various establishments.

A representative of the Drugstores Association of the Philippines Inc. told the panel that it is the “first time” that they have heard that national athletes and coaches are entitled to a 20% discount for medicines, among others.

Based on their member-drugstores, no athlete has availed of the discount from them “because it is not clear what needs to be presented to the drug stores and what (medicines) are covered,” the representative said.

“To be honest, the biggest mark-up on medicine in the Philippines is only 10%, so if we give 20%, pikit-mata naming ibibigay yun (we will provide that with our eyes closed),” the representative added.

“We support the initiative of the government for (the Olympians), but we hope that the guidelines are clearer about what kind of discounts we can give… We need to know who we should give it to, what are the requirements.” they said.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with