IN the wake of the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Monday said the charity agency’s Visayas branches are prepared to assist the ill and injured.
PCSO Chairman Margarita Juico said the heads of the PCSO branches in the provinces of Palawan, Samar, Cebu, Iloilo, and Bacolod are ready to fast-track the processing of requests for assistance of the typhoon victims.
“We also assure everyone that PCSO is ready and able to do its part to extend help and relief where it is needed,” said Juico.
According to PCSO Assistant General Manager for Branch Operations Remeliza Gabuyo, the Palawan branch manager is Roland Batislaong; in Western Samar, Jeanette Oberio; in Cebu, Glen Jesus Rada; in Iloilo, Cedric Recamara; and in Bacolod, Belena Alvarez.
PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas 2nd said the agency will shoulder the hospital bills of victims directly affected by the storm who are confined in public hospitals and health care facilities.
“In line with our agency’s mandate to provide financial assistance for medical- and health care-related concerns during times of calamities and national emergencies,” said Rojas.
This policy, initiated by the present PCSO Board of Directors under Juico, is also in consonance with the directives of President Benigno Aquino 3rd on universal health care for all Filipinos.
He cited the recent assistance given by PCSO wherein it provided the same services to the victims of the Bohol and Cebu earthquake and Zamboanga conflict.
According to PCSO Assistant General Manager for Charity Larry Cedro, the agency, under its Quick Response Program, will also be sending a total of 100,000 Family Emergency Medicine (FEM) kits.
The FEM kits contain medicines for common ailments like fever, diarrhea, and pain as well as relief packs of blankets, sleeping mats, and mosquito nets to the survivors and evacuees.
An initial delivery of 20,000 FEM kits will be sent to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which will identify the most stricken areas and distribute the kits there.
Cedro also said that PCSO will be procuring a water treatment facility to be sent to either Tacloban, Samar, or Ormoc. Another has already been earmarked for Bohol in aid of the October 15 earthquake victims.
He added that by the end of this week or early next week, PCSO will be sending a team of physicians, nurses, and dentists on a medical mission to Tacloban City.
“We pray for the speedy recovery of Leyte and other affected localities,” said Juico. RITCHIE A. HORARIO