VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Magno WRONGLY claims P10M for Olympic gold medalists ‘created under Duterte’

Internet personality and vocal Duterte supporter Jam Magno has claimed that the government’s provision of a P10-million cash incentive for Filipino athletes who win gold medals at the Olympics was created by the current administration.

“It is only during the time of Duterte that we created an allotment for every athlete that will win a gold medal. Sa time lang po ni Duterte ginawa iyan (it was created only during the time of Duterte), the P10 million,” she said in a July 27 Facebook (FB) video. This is wrong.

Magno was referring to a provision in Republic Act No. 10699 or the “National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act”— signed into law in November 2015 by the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Section 8 of RA 10699 lists the amount of cash incentives given to athletes if they score a medal for the country in international sports competitions. Summer or Winter Olympic gold medalists shall receive P10 million and an Olympic Gold Medal of Valor.

This is the first time the P10-million incentive is being granted to anyone since the ratification of the law because it is the first time a Filipino won gold in the Olympic Games.

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bagged last July 26 the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal since the country started participating in the Games in 1924. Magno made her misleading remark as she was congratulating Diaz for her historic victory.

The athlete will also receive an additional P5 million from the Philippine Sports Commission, following a provision in the law that athletes who set a new record for the Philippines “in any measurable international sports competition” will receive a separate cash incentive to be determined by the Commission.

As for President Rodrigo Duterte, he announced during his July 28 call with Diaz that the Office of the President will be rewarding the Filipina weightlifter with P3 million on top of the P10 million she will get under RA 10699.

As a Philippine Air Force reservist, Diaz will also receive a house and lot in her home city in Zamboanga, as part of the government’s housing project for members of the country’s armed forces.

Tallies by news organizations show that the total amount of rewards committed by the government, business tycoons, and private companies to Diaz surpassed the P50 million mark as of Aug. 2.

Magno’s misleading FB video already got over 45,000 views and 8,400 engagements from netizens.

Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle shows the clip could have reached around 841,000 users, with traffic coming largely from Magno’s account as well as public groups Atty. Glenn Chong SOLID Supporters and Rody Duterte Solid(Duterte-Duterte2022).

A second, widely-circulating copy of Magno’s video was also published by another FB page on July 29, but it questioned the veracity of the social media personality’s claim. It has been viewed over 1.8 million times by FB users.


(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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