Duterte congratulates SEAG athletes, asks PSC to look for talents in indigenous tribes, out-of-school youth

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(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — Filipino athletes who participated in the recently-concluded Southeast Asian (SEA) Games met President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang Wednesday and thanked them for representing the country in Malaysia.

In his speech, Duterte congratulated the athletes, saying their accomplishments "has brought honor to the country."

He added, "Through hard work and discipline, you have prevailed and made our nation proud."

The President also welcomed the country’s hosting of the 2019 SEA Games, lauding this year's host country, Malaysia.

Duterte hopes the spirit of goodwill and sportsmanship continues when the Philippines hosts the 30th SEA Games.

He directed the Philippines Sports Commission to search the entire country for new talents.

He said, "Look for them 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."

Duterte assured Filipino athletes that they have the support of the government as well as the country "every step of the way."

The President also handed over more than ₱18 million in cash incentives to this year's medalists as provided for in the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives act.

Each gold medalist received ₱300,000, each silver medalist ₱150,000, and each bronze medalist ₱60,000. They were also given presidential citations.

Presidential Adviser for Sports Dennis Uy also gave them additional cash incentives – ₱50,000 for each gold medalist, ₱30,000 for each silver medalist, and ₱10,000 for each bronze medalist.