BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Bacolod City based-Aldrtz Corporation is giving a year’s supply of Pau Liniment to Olympic Gold Medalist, Hidilyn Diaz, as a sign of gratitude to her for giving honor to the country, a statement from the firm said.
It also said that Diaz is an epitome of hard work and sacrifice, who endured a lot of pain and several challenges before reaching her goals, just like many Filipinos.
Aldrtz joins the list of several private firms that gave Diaz rewards for bagging the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines in the Olympics after her win in weightlifting.
She is expected to receive at least P40.5 million from the national government and private firms for ending the 97-year Olympic Gold Medal drought of the country.
The P10-million reward from the national government is an incentive under Republic Act 10699, or the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives act.
Century Properties also pledged a house and lot in Tagaytay for her, while both Philippine Airlines and AirAsia Philippines are giving her free flights.
Meanwhile, Diaz will receive P3 million in cash incentive from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte made the announcement, after Diaz paid a “virtual” courtesy call on him last night, a few hours after she arrived onboard Philippine Airlines flight PR 427 from Japan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Maybe one of these days, if you have a time, communicate with us, so I can give you the P3 million,” Duterte told Diaz.
The monetary reward is on top of the P10 million she will receive from the government through the Philippine Sports Commission, as provided under RA 10699.
Apart from the cash grant, Diaz would also receive a “fully-furnished” house and lot in Zamboanga City, Duterte said.
Duterte said he would also confer the Presidential Medal of Merit, “one of the highest of the nation’s presidential medals,” on Diaz through an “appropriate” ceremony.
“As expected, the nation is ecstatic about your achievement. Your achievement is the achievement of the Philippine nation. We are extremely proud. We cannot express even in the words how we should really be shouting Hallelujah,” he said. “But, over and above for this monetary consideration, it’s always the honor that you brought to the country.”
Duterte thanked Diaz for striving hard to win the Olympic gold medal, despite the “years of toils and disappointments.”
He also told her to forget the unpleasant things that happened between her and the current administration.
In 2019, Diaz appealed for financial support amid her preparations for the Olympic event. The same year, her name was included in the broader “Oust Duterte” matrix released by then-presidential spokesperson and incumbent Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Panelo, in May 2019, clarified that Diaz is not part of the ouster plot against Duterte.
ONLINE HERO’S WELCOME
Due to movement restrictions amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, Diaz was instead given an “online” hero’s welcome with only a few government and sports officials receiving her and her team together with skateboarding finalist Margielyn Didal at the NAIA.
PSC commissioners Celia Kiram and Charles Maxey welcomed Diaz and Didal. The gold medalist was officially promoted as a staff sergeant while at the NAIA VIP Lounge.
To honor her accomplishment, the PAL gifted Diaz with 80,000 miles per year, equivalent to five economy roundtrip domestic flights, or two roundtrip economy regional flights, or one roundtrip economy international flights.*with report from PNA