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President Duterte hands over cash incentives to SEA Games medalists

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses for a photo with the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Philippine Team gold medalists during the awarding ceremony in Malacañan Palace on September 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the awarding rites on Wednesday, September 13, for Filipino athletes who won in the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Chief Executive gave cash incentives to athletes who won 24 gold medals, 33 silver, and 64 bronze at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañan.

The medalists received presidential citations for their feats in the biennial multi-sporting event.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses with the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Philippine Team silver medalists during an awarding ceremony in Malacañan Palace on September 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In his speech, the President expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the athletes who have represented the Philippines in the recently concluded SEA Games.

“I congratulate you all, especially our medalists, for the accomplishment that has brought honor to the country. Through hard work and discipline, you have prevailed and made our nation proud,” President Duterte said.

Bronze Group 1 : President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses with the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Philippine Team bronze medalists during an awarding ceremony in Malacañan Palace on September 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Bronze Group 2 : President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses with the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Philippine Team bronze medalists during an awarding ceremony in Malacañan Palace on September 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez, and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The Chief Executive also congratulated Malaysia for successfully hosting the 29th Southeast Asian Games, noting that the event is a symbol of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ commitment to strengthen partnership and cooperation towards a common goal of a more prosperous and united region.

“I hope we will continue to foster this spirit of goodwill and sportsmanship,” he said.

As the Philippines will host the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019, the President urged the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to widen its scope and recruit nationwide.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses with the coaches and officials of the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) Philippine Team, as well as with officers of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Siklab Atleta Pilipinas, during an awarding ceremony in Malacañan Palace on September 13, 2017. Also in the photo are Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, PSC Chairman William Ramirez, and Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte directed the agency to look for athletes in non-traditional places and include members of the indigenous tribes and out-of-school youth.

“Let us give them a chance to hone their talent and live up to their fullest potentials,” he said.

At the same time, the President encouraged the country’s athletes to focus on improving their skills and to strive to do better in the next SEA Games.

Duterte assured that the government and the Filipino people will support the athletes “every step of the way.”

“Continue to represent the best of what the Philippines has to offer, here and abroad. Make us proud again,” he said. (PND)

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