Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR delivers yuletide treats to mental patients in Davao

Friday | December 7, 2012 | 4:00 PM

DAVAO CITY – The gloomy atmosphere at the Southern Philippines Medical Center’s Psychiatric Department (formerly Davao Mental Hospital) suddenly became festive as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) held its 8th day of the “Bayanihan: Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR 2012” for some 200 mentally-challenged individuals confined at the said hospital.

Pamaskong Handog 2012 - Day 20 (PAGCOR delivers yuletide treats to mental patients in Davao)
Miss Casino Filipino Davao 2012 semi-finalist Patria Acosta distributed gift packs during the eighth day of PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog 2012 activity at the Southern Philippines Medical Center’s Psychiatric Department in Davao City. The event benefited 200 mentally-challenged individuals confined at the said hospital.

PAGCOR’s Casino Filipino Davao branch refurbished the hospital’s recreational area and outpatient lounge, comfort rooms and stage area – giving the medical facility a much-needed facelift. PAGCOR also granted the hospital’s wish for 10 sacks of rice, 20 mattresses, 200 scrub suits, 200 pairs of slippers, two TVs and six electric fans. The agency allocated over P300,000 for the gift-giving event.

According to Dr. Laureen Conanan, Chairperson of the institution, they always conduct a simple Christmas celebration for their patients and staff every year but their Chirstmas party this year is considered to be the most memorable one. “We’ve never been this happy in our previous celebrations of Christmas here. With our institution getting spruced up and our Yuletide wishes being granted by PAGCOR, what more can we ask for? This has got to be our best Christmas ever kaya’t maraming, maraming salamat PAGCOR, lalong-lalo na kay Chairman Bong Naguiat,” Conanan enthused.

Officials and employees from PAGCOR’s Casino Filipino Davao led by Branch Manager Michael Cendana spearheaded the gift-giving at the SPMC Psychiatric Department. Cendana said the activity gave them the opportunity to be of service to the institution that really needs all the help it can get to continue its noble advocacy of promoting quality mental healthcare services in Mindanao.

“We felt that public mental institutions are given less attention as compared with other institutions. With our management’s guidance to extend help to a greater number of Filipinos from the marginalized sector this Christmas season, we chose the Southern Philippines Medical Center Psychiatric Department so that we can share the joy of the Yuletide season to our mentally-challenged brothers and sisters,” Cendana explained.

Ward administrator Grace Bernardo said they feel a great sense of fulfillment every time a patient recovers from psychiatric illness and becomes a functional member of the society again through their intervention. She particularly cited the case of Gerardo, who, after spending 20 years in the institution, was recently released by the facility and is now earning through his piggery business.

“Mahirap ang trabaho namin dito, pero napakasarap sa pakiramdam tuwing may pasyenteng nakakabalik sa mainstream society dahil sa tulong na nagagawa namin sa kanilang paggaling,” Bernardo related.

The SPMC Psychiatric Department is the only government mental healthcare institution in Mindanao that caters to the promotion of service, training and research and advocacy programs for the rehabilitation and treatment of mental patients.

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