Monday, 25 April 2011 14:45
House Bill 4352, which grants pension, health and medical assistance, and death benefits to professional athletes, has passed third and final reading in the House of Representatives.
Known as the Professional Filipino Athletes Retirement, Health Care, and Death Benefits Act of 2011, beneficiaries will be athletes identified by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and must already be 50 years old.
Athletes who have won in individual competitions will receive monthly pensions worth P15,000 while those who have won in team events will get P10,000.
The amount will be sourced out as part of the General Appropriations Act, which is released annually.
Aside from the pension, beneficiary athletes who have won international competitions will be covered by the National Health Insurance Program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
If a beneficiary athlete is hospitalized, all medical expenses will be paid for by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), under its Medical Assistance Program (IMAP).
Upon death of a professional athlete, the primary and secondary beneficiaries will get P30,000 to cover funeral expenses. The bill also states that the benefits will be retroactive to all living professional athletes who are licensed by GAB.
According to the bill’s author, Rep. Pedro Acharon, Jr. (1st District, South Cotabato), the goal is to encourage young athletes to become more determined to win in both local and international competitions.
Only recently, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had also pushed for providing benefits to professional athletes. It also provided similar pension amounts of P10,000 and P15,000 for athletes who have won in team competitions or as individuals.
By Alexander Villafania
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