The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has hailed Filipino athletes for having surpassed their gold medal output in the 2017 edition of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Malaysia.

Just on the second day of the ongoing SEA Games 2019, host Philippines acquired 39 gold medals, 22 silvers, and 14 bronzes as of 9 p.m. of December 2, according to the Philippine Sports Commission.

In 2017, the Philippine delegation got 23 gold medals, 33 silvers and 64 bronzes. The country finished sixth place with a total of 120 medals.

“We would to like to extend an early congratulations to our delegation to the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for surpassing the Philippines’ overall accomplishments during the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia,” PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.

“Our early achievements and everyone’s wholehearted participation has led us all to a rousing start,” he added.

Andanar, meanwhile, expressed confidence that the Philippine delegation would continue to represent the country with pride and make even more achievements in their sporting events.

“We congratulate as well all the athletes from participating countries who have participated and placed today. Continue to do your countries’ proud. Let us all strive to do our best, we win as one,” he added.

Around 8,750 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam will compete in 530 events from record 56 sports during the biggest 10-day sports competition in Southeast Asia region.

On Nov. 27, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go bared that President Rodrigo Duterte will be giving additional incentives to Filipino athletes who will win medals in the multi-sporting event.

The rewards will be given in addition to what the athletes will be receiving under the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act (Republic Act No. 10699).

Go said the President has not mentioned the amount for the SEA Games medalists but at the same time expressed confidence the President would make good on his plan.

He noted that the President is also considering giving the Order of Lapu-Lapu awards to winning athletes.

The Lapu-Lapu award is conferred on individuals who have significant contributions to the administration’s advocacies. (PNA)