The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) reached out to 38 children and 83 adults afflicted with cancer, and 250 elderly citizens during the second day of its "Pamaskong Handog 2010 - 12 Days of Christmas" project.
The gift-giving program, which officially started yesterday, covers 24 charitable institutions in Metro Manila and nearby provinces and also localities where PAGCOR's Casino Filipino branches operate.
The beneficiaries on the second day include the Cancer Institute Foundation Inc. under the administration of the UP-PGH (Philippine General Hospital) and the Federation of Senior Citizens of Pasay, Inc. under the City's Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).
The beneficiaries were given food, special Christmas gift packs containing basic commodities like toiletries, clothing and canned goods. They were entertained by celebrities like matinee idol Jao Mapa, veteran singer Eva Eugenio and the PAGCOR Voice Symphony who sang Christmas carols.
Present during the Cancer Institute gift-giving activity were UP-PGH Director Enrique Domingo, and PAGCOR officials led by President/COO Jorge Sarmiento, AVP Maricar Bautista of Corporate Communications, Bong Quintana of Entertainment and Henry Reyes of Community Relations and Services.
Sarmiento said PAGCOR is happy to share its blessings with the patients being served by the Cancer Institute. "PAGCOR has always lent a helping hand to the poor, the needy and the sick, not only during Christmas time but all year round. Through this Pamaskong Handog project we hope we are able to give joy to other people, especially those belonging to the marginalized sectors of our society," he stressed.
Domingo, meantime, thanked PAGCOR for giving an early Christmas treat to the Institute's patients. "We have about 3,000 patients of which 1,000 are indigents. PAGCOR had been a staunch supporter of our programs for the poor, including maintenance of the UP-PGH Trauma Ward," he said.
The Cancer Institute service patients diagnosed with cancer after surgery or biopsy from the PGH general wards and out-patient clinics or referrals from different hospitals and clinics all throughout the country.
"We thank PAGCOR for making our Institute and our patients among its Pamaskong Handog beneficiaries. Salamat sa PAGCOR at maaga nilang naramdaman ang Pasko," said Domingo. He also thanked the state-gaming firm for granting the Cancer Institute's wish for nine reusable bone marrow needles which "will greatly help in our efforts to provide holistic care and treatment to the less fortunate Filipinos afflicted with the killer disease." The nine needles, which are procured from an international supplier, have a total cost of P108,000.
Meantime, PAGCOR also delivered to the Federation of Senior Citizens of Pasay their Christmas wish list composed of 100 pieces of spoon and fork, two industrial fans, two blood pressure monitors, and a karaoke set.
Pasay OSCA officer-in-charge Normita Castillo said the gifts from PAGCOR will be used by their 250 beneficiaries who are all indigent senior citizens residing in District 1 and 2 of Pasay.
The federation conducts free health services like medical missions and a weekly feeding program for the senior citizens. The meals that are served come from various sponsors.
"With the meager resources that we have, we really have to make do with what we have to be able to extend assistance in any form to our needy members. We're very thankful that there are agencies like PAGCOR that help us get through this noble effort by sharing their resources especially this Christmas season," Castillo noted.
"We also thank PAGCOR for fulfilling the request of majority of our beneficiaries that they want to see and hear Ms. Eva Eugenio sing during the gift-giving. That made them really happy," she added.
PAGCOR is implementing its Pamaskong Handog project as part of the agency's Corporate Social Responsibility programs. "There are so many people who need help and PAGCOR under its new management wants to be an active partner of our government in this aspect. Also, we want to generate more awareness about the charitable institutions we are helping in the hope that more kindhearted people will support their advocacies," she added.