Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz was promoted in rank following a hero's welcome hosted by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Thursday.
From Airwoman 2nd Class, Diaz was promoted to Airwoman 1st Class during a ceremony performed before PAF officials at the Villamor Airbase, a report by Saleema Refran in Balitanghali said.
Diaz and her fellow Olympian Airman 2nd Class Nestor Colonia were also given plaques for their achievements at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Diaz in turn gave them a replica of her silver medal, to be kept in the PAF museum.
Call for support
Speaking before the press after the ceremony, the weightlifter bemoaned the lack of government support for athletes. She said that athletes have to make do with outdated and battered training equipment, and that trainees live in a cramped dormitory.
She also pointed out a discrepancy between the allowance of Southeast Asian Games winners and Olympians. While SEA Games medalists receive a monthly allowance of P40,000, Olympians only receive P19,000 to P20,000.
Diaz said that the small allowance is the reason why the number of Filipino Olympians dwindle every year.
"So yung ibang Olympian, imbis na looking forward sila sa susunod na Olympics, hindi na lang. Kasi sa liit ng allowance nila, kulang pa para sa pagkain nila," Diaz said.
"Binababa nila, 'di ba to be there in the Olympics dapat bigyan nila ng halaga," she added.
Diaz is the Philippines' Olympian medalist in 20 years.
She lifted a total of 200 kilograms at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. — Jessica Bartolome / AT, GMA News