Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR provides swift aid to victims of typhoon ‘PABLO’ in Iligan

Wednesday | December 5, 2012 | 12:00 PM

ILIGAN CITY – What was supposed to be a merry gift-giving event turned into an emergency relief operation for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on December 4, 2012 as the agency swiftly brought aid to 1,000 families affected by the onslaught of super typhoon “Pablo”.

Pamaskong Handog 2012 - Day 20 (PAGCOR provides swift aid to victims of typhoon  ‘PABLO’ in Iligan)
A family who took refuge in a cramped evacuation center in Iligan City at the height of typhoon “Pablo” immediately received relief packs from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) as Tropical storm “Pablo” battered the Mindanao region.

Upon the directive of PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr., the corporation’s Casino Filipino Davao branch conducted an instant relief operation in Iligan City in lieu of the agency’s “Bayanihan: Pamaskong Handog 2012” gift-giving project. The event, which was supposed to benefit the Iligan Federation for the Differently-Abled Persons (IFDAP) was postponed after super storm “Pablo” devastated the city and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao.

Amid heavy rains and strong winds, PAGCOR employees of Casino Filipino Davao repacked various grocery items originally intended as Yuletide gifts to IFDAP members. The repacked items were then distributed to typhoon victims who jampacked the evacuation site inside the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.

According to Casino Filipino Davao Branch Manager Michael Cendana, the relief operation in Iligan is PAGCOR’s way of helping the families displaced by the super typhoon in the city. He added that they decided to move the gift-giving event for the beneficiaries of IFDAP to another date since venturing into the streets at the height of the typhoon also became too dangerous due to heavy rains and strong winds.

“Nakakalungkot isipin na magpa-Pasko pa naman tsaka tumama ang ganitong sakuna dito sa Iligan at iba pang bahagi ng Mindanao. Pero sa kagandahang-loob ng aming Chairman na si Ginoong Naguiat, kami ay inatasang agad na tumulong sa abot ng aming makakaya sa mga naapektuhan ng bagyo. Patunay lamang na ang PAGCOR ay handang dumamay sa mga nangangailangan sa lahat ng oras at panahon,” Cendana explained.

Pamaskong Handog 2012 - Day 20 (PAGCOR provides swift aid to victims of typhoon  ‘PABLO’ in Iligan)

Because of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Sendong in Iligan City last year that left hundreds of people dead, the local government enforced preemptive evacuation among its constituents. Schools, bus terminals and gymnasiums were used as temporary shelters of approximately 5,000 locals most of whom are residing near the riverbanks.

Iligan Councilor Frederick Siao expressed extreme gratitude to PAGCOR for being the first agency to provide relief to some of his constituents only a few hours after the super typhoon battered their city.

“Blessing in disguise na narito ang PAGCOR para sa kanilang Pamaskong Handog. The agency became the first to respond and give help to us when disaster hit our city. It was the first agency that came to the aid of the typhoon victims and gave us various food items. Napakalaking tulong nitong ibinigay ng PAGCOR sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo dito sa aming bayan,” Siao said.

Like most evacuees, 26-year-old Marilyn Canete was not able to bring anything to the evacuation center as she and her two children had to immediately flee their coastal community following flashflood warnings from local government officials due to the torrential downpour. “Mas mahalaga sa akin ang kaligtasan namin ng mga anak ko kaya’t lumikas na agad kami nang walang dalang anuman kahit na pagkain. Mabuti na lang at agad na dumating dito ang PAGCOR para magbigay ng tulong sa mga gaya kong naapektuhan ng bagyo.”

Meanwhile, PAGCOR’s Christmas gift-giving event at the Interact Club of Metro-Butuan Dunong ni Juan Project in Butuan City and the Southern Philippines Medical Center Psychiatric Department in Davao City pushed through on December 5 and 6, respectively.

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