MANILA, Philippines - Funds collected from tax evaders would be used to back the training of Filipino Olympians, President Duterte said, as he exhorted the Rio-bound athletes to bring forth their best and give honor to the country in the upcoming Olympics Games.
Dutetre said that “oligarchs” have been earning huge sums while Filipino athletes are not getting enough support from government due to limited resources.
“Just like the oligarchs of this country, the elite. They get contracts from government. They enjoy the fat of the land and they don’t really bother paying taxes,” Duterte said during the sendoff of the Philippine contingent to the Rio Olymics yesterday in Malacañang.
Only six of the 12 athletes vying in the Rio Olympics from Aug. 5 to 21 made it to the courtesy call. It was the first time in six years that athletes heading to a major international competition like the SEA Games, Asian Games or Olympics were welcomed by the President.
They are weightlifters Hidilyn Diaz and Nestor Colonia, taekwondo’s Kirstie Elaine Alora, table tennis’ Ian Lariba, track and field’s Marestella Torres and golfer Miguel Tabuena. Diaz and Torres are in their third straight Olympics.
The other contenders who are still training overseas are boxers Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez, swimmers Jasmine Alkhaldi and Jessie King Lacuna and track and field’s Eric Shawn Cray and Mary Joy Tabal.
To further boost the morale of the Filipino Olympians, Duterte tripled their allowance to $3,000 from $1,000. The allowance of sports officials who will accompany them was also increased to $5,000 from $4,000.
“I will get the money from those who are not paying (taxes) and give it to you,” he said, adding that the country loses as much as P300 million a day in uncollected taxes and other revenues.
Source: The Philippine Star