Over 300 indigent families in Payatas to receive early Christmas gifts from PAGCOR

Thursday | December 10, 2015 | 4:00 PM    [ view gallery ]

From the time his father died four years ago, Christmas was just an ordinary day for 11-year-old John Gabriel Froi Sabas who lives in Payatas, Quezon City. Since his mother and two other siblings only rely on his deceased father’s monthly pension, festive Christmas celebrations had to be set aside for their education and other basic needs.

Over 300 indigent families in Payatas to receive early Christmas gifts from PAGCOR
PAGCOR officials (from left) Assistant VP Albert Villarama, Assistant VP Bong Quintana, Assistant VP Jose Christopher Manalo IV and President and COO Jorge Sarmiento (right) hand over Christmas gift packs to kids from disadvantaged families under the care of Payatas Orione Foundation, Inc. (PAOFI) in Payatas, Quezon City. Also in photo is PAOFI benefactor Atty. Lito Mondragon (2nd from right). Aside from receiving noche buena gift packs, the beneficiaries were also treated to a fun-filled Christmas party during the eight day of PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog gift-giving activity.

But this year, Christmas will surely be a delightful experience for the Sabas family because they were part of the 328 families under the care of Payatas Orione Foundation, Inc. (PAOFI) who were chosen as beneficiaries of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) Day 8 of Pamaskong Handog 2015.

PAGCOR distributed noche buena gift packs containing ham, cheese, pasta noodles, chocolates, biscuits and other Christmas goodies for the PAOFI beneficiaries. The state-run gaming agency also hosted a Christmas party for them. The event was made more memorable with the performances of RnB singer Luke Mejares and PAGCOR’s in-house talents.

PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento, who spearheaded PAGCOR's gift-giving event in Payatas, was in high spirits as the state-owned gaming firm once again shares its blessings to marginalized sectors this coming Christmas through PAGCOR's Pamaskong Handog 2015. "Masayang-masaya po kami na muli kaming nagbibigay ng maagang pamasko sa 33 institutions na may halos 10,000 beneficiaries. Ito po ay isa lamang sa aming mga paraan para mag-share ng blessings sa ating mga kababayan. Sampu po ng PAGCOR officials at employees ng PAGCOR, maraming salamat po sa pagkakataong ito at maligayang pasko po sa inyong lahat," the PAGCOR official said.

PAOFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization that provides social welfare development programs (medical, nutritional and educational needs) for disadvantaged individuals and families. It started its operation in Payatas, Quezon City in 2007 and extended its services in Lucena City, particularly in barangays Dalahican and Talao-Talao.

Over 300 indigent families in Payatas to receive early Christmas gifts from PAGCOR
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR ) Assistant VP for Corporate Communications and Services Maricar Bautista (left) distributes Christmas gift packs to the less privileged children who are under the care of Payatas Orione Foundation, Inc. (PAOFI). Joining her in the gift-giving activity are (right to left) PAOFI Executive Director Father Julio Cuesta, PAGCOR Assistant VP Albert Villarama, Assistant VP Bong Quintana, President and COO Jorge Sarmiento and COA Supervising Auditor Belen Ladines. PAOFI, which provides social welfare development programs for disadvantaged families in Payatas, was chosen by PAGCOR as beneficiary for Day 8 of its Pamaskong Handog 2015 gift-giving project.

Payatas is one of the biggest sanitary landfills in Metro Manila where most residents scavenge to earn a living.

Through the help of PAOFI, the poor yet promising students like Gabriel are given hope to pursue their dreams. The young boy has exceptional talent in numbers that he is even tagged as a Math wizard in their community. In 2012, he was admitted to PAOFI’s scholarship program that allows him and other talented children to finish their studies despite financial difficulties.

Gabriel said agencies like PAGCOR gave a new meaning to their Christmas celebration this year. At least now, they can have a festive noche buena. “Life without a father is hard. My mother, who is taking care of us tries everything to give us a good life. Para sa katulad ko na galing sa pamilyang hirap sa pang-araw-araw na gastusin, itong Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR ang talagang mas magpapa-saya ng aming Pasko. Tiyak na magiging sobrang masaya ang nanay ko kasi mayroon na kaming pang-noche buena,” he shared.

This is not the first time that PAGCOR extended help to the wards of PAOFI. The state-owned gaming firm also provided financial assistance amounting to about P200,000 for PAOFI’s feeding program from 2011 to 2012. The grant benefitted 75 severely malnourished children under their care.

Over 300 indigent families in Payatas to receive early Christmas gifts from PAGCOR
PAGCOR Assistant VP for Slot Machine Eduardo De Guzman (right) and Assistant VP for Security Byron Tabangay (left) hand over noche buena gift packs to the handicapped wards of the National Vocational Rehabilitation Center (NVRC) in Quezon City during Day 9 of PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog 2015. They are among the 10,000 less fortunate beneficiaries of the agency’s ongoing nationwide gift-giving project.

PAOFI Executive Director Father Julio Cuesta is extremely grateful to PAGCOR for always helping their organization and their beneficiaries. “PAGCOR has always been a helping hand to us. We are thankful and also delighted that this year we became a beneficiary of the ‘Pamaskong Handog’ ng PAGCOR. It will make the Christmas celebration of more than 300 families in the Payatas community merrier, bountiful and more meaningful,” he said.

Meantime Atty. Lito Mondragon, one of the benefactors of the PAOFI's feeding center, thanked PAGCOR for its continued support to PAOFI. "Maraming salamat po sa inyong tulong at sana'y tuluy-tuloy ang inyong pagsuporta sa PAOFI," said Mondragon.

During its Pamaskong Handog Day 8, PAGCOR also reached out to the abused children under the care of the Crisis Intervention Center (CIC)-Balay Dangupan and the elderly wards of Co Su Gian Home for the Aged in Davao City. The CIC-Balay Dangupan serves as a temporary substitute home for survivors and victims of physical and sexual abuse while the Co Su Gian Home For the Aged is an institution that cares for neglected and abandoned elderly individuals.

PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog project for this year has close to 10,000 beneficiaries in 33 charitable institutions nationwide.

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