MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Sports Commission gave all members of the national training pool and some coaches a Christmas bonus worth P3,000 with a wish that the country perform better in the international sporting stage like the Southeast Asian Games.
"For your hardwork, the PSC has deposited P3,000 each on your ATM (automated teller machine) account for your hardwork the whole year," said PSC chair Richie Garcia in Friday night's Christmas party hosted by the government sports-funding agency at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.
Garcia though encouraged athletes to work harder especially in the coming year as the country prepares for the 27th edition of the biennial meet in Myanmar’s new capital, Naypyidaw.
"I wish everyone well and an enjoyable holiday vacation so that when everyone returns to training, all will be refreshed in preparation for the next year's SEA Games in Myanmar," said Garcia.
PSC commissioner Jolly Gomez, for his part, announced the agency cancelled the employees’ annual Christmas party to focus on the athletes while donating some of the money that would have been spent on the event to help victims of Typhoon Pablo.
"We've scrapped the Christmas party of our employees outright because we want to focus more on the athletes and donate some of it to victims of Typhoon Pablo," said Gomez, who was also in charge of the year-round Batang Pinoy program.
Majority of the 861 members of the national team under the PSC’s payroll and some high-ranking Philippine Olympic Committee officials and heads of national sports associations attended the festivities.
Among the more popular athletes were the world champion poomsae team, long jumper Marestella Torres, 2012 London Olympics veteran boxer Mark Anthony Barriga, and chess Grandmaster Eugene Torre.