Pagcor launches biggest gift-giving program for the poorBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines – More than 8,000 less indigent Filipinos nationwide will benefit from the “biggest ever gift-giving activity” of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) this Christmas dubbed “Bayanihan: Pamaskong Handog ng Pagcor 2012.”
Pagcor allocated P26.7 million to fund the event that would run from November 29 to December 20, 2012.
A total of 8,600 less privileged Filipinos under the care of 41 institutions nationwide will benefit from the project.
Pagcor said among its beneficiaries are indigent patients confined in several state hospitals; orphans; abandoned and abused children; the elderly; the disabled and physically handicapped; street children; cultural minorities; special children diagnosed with mental retardation, autism and multiple disabilities; children in conflict with the law; women with serious mental disorders, poor families and communities; cancer-stricken children, and street sweepers.
In Metro Manila for instance, the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital will receive a “halfway” house for nursing mothers, which will serve as breastfeeding station for indigent mothers whose new-born babies are confined at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Nicu) of the hospital due to premature birth and other conditions.
The half-way house is being constructed by Pagcor’s employees from the Property and General Services Department.
The National Children’s Hospital, on the other hand, will have newly renovated and repainted patients’ wards courtesy of the gaming firm.
“Apart from the renovation that our employees are doing for the hospital, we will also be donating one mechanical ventilator, three units of infusion pump and three units of syringe pump to the National Children’s Hospital for the use of patients diagnosed with leukemia, nephrotic syndrome, congestive heart failure and haemophilia,” Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday.
Other institutions in Metro Manila that will be getting “bayanihan” components in Pagcor’s “Pamaskong Handog 2012” are the Lingap Pangkabataan, Inc. Soldiers’ Hills Elementary School, Tondo Medical Center, Pasay Youth Homes, Create a Job for the Disabled Association, Inc., and the Philippine Orthopedic Hospital.
Naguiat said the gaming firm will also share its blessings with institutions from various provinces hosting a Casino Filipino branch.
“We will help provide better facilities and equipment to several institutions in Angeles, Bacolod, Cebu, Laoag, Tagaytay, Olongapo and Davao. This would hopefully help the institutions provide better service to their beneficiaries,” he said.
The Gawad Kalinga (GK) Tabun in Pampanga will be given assistance in the renovation and repainting of their multi-purpose halls, day care center and bathrooms. The St. Vincent’s Home in Bacolod City which takes care of abandoned elderly will have their ceilings, comfort rooms and recreation areas renovated and repainted, while the Southern Philippines Medical Center (Davao Mental Hospital) will have their recreational areas and out-patient lounge repaired and repainted.
Naguiat, Jr. said the agency’s “Pamaskong Handog” event this year were made more special by the “bayanihan” component in several institutions.
“Bayanihan’ or community spirit is inherent in us. We want to highlight this unique Filipino trait in our Pamaskong Handog for 2012,” he said.
He explained that aside from helping the less fortunate, Pagcor’s “Pamaskong Handog” event this year also aims to strengthen the spirit of volunteerism among the corporation’s employees.
“We are encouraging our employees to share their time, talent and capabilities in our mission to bring joy to others,” he said.
“Through this initiative, Pagcor can leave behind a valuable and lasting legacy to our beneficiaries long after our Christmas gift-giving activity is over,” Naguiat added.
Pagcor’s “Pamaskong Handog” event began in December 2010 under the initiative of the agency’s new management as part of its core commitment to reach out to the less privileged sectors of society.
The gaming firm said its successful staging of the “Pamaskong Handog ng Pagcor: 12 Days of Christmas” in 2010 inspired the new management to make the event a yearly tradition.