MANILA - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Friday said it would send P5 million worth of bottled water and medicine for residents affected by violence in the ravaged city of Marawi City.
PCSO General-Manager Alexander Balutan told the press on Friday that the PCSO board has approved the move to send aid to affected residents, most of whom have evacuated to Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City.
"I understand, marami nang nag-evacuate dun sa Iligan at Cagayan, parang inabot na ng 150,000. Unahin natin ito dahil nangangailangan ang ating mga kababayan" said PCSO General-Manager Alexander Balutan.
He said the aid was on top of assistance already being provided to those who were wounded or afflicted with illness after days of continuous fighting between government troops and local terrorist groups in Marawi City
Balutan, a former Marine general who spent 20 years in Mindanao, said the aid from PCSO would be transported through the help of the Philippine Marine Corps.
"'Yung mga medicines na bibilhin ay sa Cagayan de Oro na tsaka 'yung iba pang gamit. Ngayon, para maka-abot ito sa Iligan or Marawi City, we contacted 'yung Armed Forces of the Philippines through the Philippine Marine Corps. Kasi puno ng checkpoint iyan 'eh at tsaka kung ordinaryong convoy lang o ordinaryong sasakyan lang, baka hindi umabot 'yung aming mga gamot," he said.
Meanwhile, PCSO also directed its field office in Cagayan de Oro City to expedite the processing of the request for assistance of patients from Marawi City who have been hospitalized.
"Patungkol dun sa mga biktima na kailangan talaga ng hospitalization, whatever form of management, batid namin na nag-cascade na, as far as Cagayan de Oro 'yung mga pasyente and we've been receiving reports from our branch offices in nearby provinces. So nagbigay ng instruction si GM na we will now cover all hospitalization expenses of the patients," said Dr. Larry Cedro, PCSO's Assistant General-Manager for Charity.
He said PCSO in Cagayan de Oro would fast track the processing of documents in Mindanao and that the papers would be sent directly to Balutan's office.
"So para mas mabilis lamang, they will process the documents there in Mindanao, they will submit to us the names, it will be approved by our GM and Manila will be the one [to] settle the obligation," Cedro said.