National athletes, coaches get 20% discount on goods, but face allowance cuts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) – National athletes and coaches will get a 20 percent discount on goods and services in exchange for allowance cuts, according to rules issued on a law that expands the coverage of incentives granted to national athletes and coaches.

On May 27, the Bureau of Internal Revenue released the implementing rules and regulations for Republic Act 10699. The law provides the discount to national team members in the purchase goods and services such as food, medicine and sports equipment.

It also applies to transport fares, room accommodations, restaurants, recreation centers, cinemas, and other amusement places.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez said national team members have an identification card, which is a requirement to avail the discount.

Ramirez added they are waiting for the distribution of the booklets to record the availed discounts.

"We have been looking forward to this and we are thankful that our athletes and coaches will finally enjoy the privilege they deserve," Ramirez said.

The rules for discount for national team members will take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette or any two newspapers of national circulation.

Meanwhile, Ramirez said there will be a corresponding 50 percent reduction in allowance with the implementation of discount privileges.

The PSC chief said the cuts will sustain their allowance until December, as the National Sports Development Fund for this year was realigned to help in the COVID-19 response.

"This is a hard decision to make but one that needed to be done so we can continue caring for our athletes longer," said Ramirez.

The reduced allowance will take effect on June 1.

The PSC cancelled all scheduled sports events this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The national sports agency emphasized the need for a vaccine to protect athletes and coaches against the virus.