Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR employees cancel Christmas party, donate cash and relief goods to typhoon victims

Monday | November 25, 2013 | 8:22 AM

PAGCOR employees cancel Christmas party, donate cash and relief goods to typhoon victims
More than 1,000 families in the barangay-island of Hilantagaan received immediate aid from Casino Filipino Cebu, just a few days after super typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas region.

THOUSANDS of employees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) nationwide are cancelling their Christmas party in the wake of the recent devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas. Instead, they are going to donate roughly P9 million both in cash and in kind to the typhoon victims.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said their donation will be given to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). “Our personnel are one with the PAGCOR management in commemorating the Christmas season this year by giving financial aid to the calamity victims. Alam nila na higit na kailangan ng tulong ng ating mga kababayan na labis na naapektuhan ng bagyo. At hindi sila nag-dalawang isip na ipamahagi ang kanilang pang-Christmas party,” Naguiat noted.

PAGCOR employees cancel Christmas party, donate cash and relief goods to typhoon victims
Employees of Casino Filipino Cebu form a human chain to hasten the delivery of 4,000 relief packs for affected families in the municipality of Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

Apart from their cash donation to the DSWD, PAGCOR’s employees are also doing other initiatives to help the typhoon victims. Many are donating grocery items, used clothes and money to Red Cross for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. “We have boxes in the lobby of our corporate office where employees can place their donations in kind. These are being collected and will be turned over to foundations that have the means to send them directly to the typhoon victims,” Naguiat added.

PAGCOR employees cancel Christmas party, donate cash and relief goods to typhoon victims
Casino Filipino Cebu employees were among the first to provide aid to at least 1,000 displaced families in barangay Hilantagaan, Bantayan Island. The casino personnel prepared roughly 4,000 relief packs containing basic commodities like rice, bottled water, noodles and canned goods.

Casino Filipino (CF) employees in Cebu and Bacolod were also mobilized by PAGCOR to provide immediate assistance to heavily affected typhoon victims in their respective areas.

CF Cebu personnel were among those who first responded to displaced families in barangays Hilantagaan, Langub, Kinatarkan and Hagdan in Bantayan Island. They are four of the most severely-hit areas in the province of Cebu. The casino employees prepared roughly 4,000 relief packs containing rice, noodles, bottled water and canned goods. They also bought blankets, beddings, medicines and hygiene kits for the affected residents of Bantayan Island.

PAGCOR employees cancel Christmas party, donate cash and relief goods to typhoon victims
Casino Filipino Bacolod personnel load packs of beddings and blankets in a truck for delivery to typhoon victims in Iloilo and Negros Occidental. Many of the typhoon survivors in these provinces lost their homes and properties.

Meantime, the employees of CF Bacolod also turned over thousands of relief goods to the social welfare offices in Negros Occidental and Iloilo for distribution to locals who were gravely affected by the recent typhoon.

Among the beneficiaries was 28-year-old Marlodee Magbanua of Cadiz City in Negros Occidental. Marlodee related that she is still traumatized even after two weeks since the super typhoon ravaged their city and other provinces in the Visayas region. Cadiz City was the hardest hit area in the province of Negros Occidental.

“Nakakatakot,” Marlodee shivered while summoning enough courage to recount how ferocious winds uprooted coconut trees and tore the roof of their house last November 8. Super typhoon “Yolanda” struck while Magbanua’s husband was helping bring other residents to safer grounds. He was totally unaware that his own family was in danger and needed immediate help like their distressed neighbors. “Wala po ang asawa ko noon kaya ang naisip ko ay tumakbo na lang sa kapit-bahay namin kasama ang aming tatlong anak at biyenan para humingi ng tulong.  Ngayon po, hindi ko alam kung paano kami magsi-simulang muli dahil nasirang lahat ang mga gamit namin,” she tearfully narrated.

Meantime Maricel Velez, 31, from Bantayan Island recalled how the seawater brought by the storm surge literally washed away everything on its path. “Noong lumalaki na ang alon, tumakbo kami na naka-paa. Naiwan yung mga tsinelas namin habang umakyat sa bundok. Madami kami na nagsi-sigawan, nagda-dasal at nag-iyakan. Inisip ko na katapusan na namin yun,” she narrated.

Velez is thankful that good Samaritans like PAGCOR employees came to help them in the most trying times. “Masaya kami kasi may pagkain na kami. Kaya kahit mahirap, nagbi-bilad kami sa init. Nagpi-pila kami maka-kuha lang ng relief goods. Nagpapa-salamat kami na pumunta ang mga empleyado ng casino sa Cebu dito. May nagbigay sa amin ng pagkain at tubig, tama na sa amin yun. Malaking tulong na sa amin."

The state-owned gaming firm’s personnel were also actively involved in several relief operations. Thousands of employees from PAGCOR’s corporate departments and Metro Manila branches recently volunteered to help prepare 50,000 relief packs for distribution to nine municipalities in Eastern Samar. This is part of the “Isa tayo, Itayo ang ating Bayan” joint relief efforts of PAGCOR, Travellers International (operator of Resorts World Manila) and Bloomberry (operator of Solaire Resort and Casino).

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