The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) turned over a total of 13 ambulance units to the Provincial Governments of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), Ilocos Sur, and Abra on January 6, 2017.
Jose Jorge Corpuz, PCSO chairman, reiterated their commitment of providing health and welfare assistance to Filipinos saying, “This is for the Filipino people, lahat ng Filipino. Walang mayaman, walang mahirap. Basta lumapit sa PCSO, tutulungan namin kayo.”
Of the 13, PGIN received six ambulances, exceeding Governor Imee R. Marcos’ initial request of two units.
One unit was given each to Ilocos Norte’s municipalities of Dingras, Bangui, Pagudpud, and Sarrat; the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC); and the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH-MC) in Batac City.
By coordinating with other provincial offices and national agencies, Ilocos Norte’s PDRRMC has been instrumental in providing crisis response and speeding up recovery during and after natural disasters, most recently when super typhoon “Lawin” (international name: “Haima”) struck the province in October 2016.
“Resiliency is defined by early recovery, kung gaano kabilis makakabangon ang napinsala,” Governor Marcos had said during her 2016 State of the Province Address a week after Lawin swept Northern Luzon.
The PDRRMC ambulance will also be used for the Provincial Incidence Response Management (PIRM) 911, Ilocos Norte’s 24-hour emergency hotline launched last month.
Pagudpud town Mayor Marlon Sales said, “Considering na ang Pagudpud ay isang tourist destination, malaki ang land area at populasyon namin, napaka-thankful kami na nagkaroon ng additional ambulance na pang-augment ng needs namin. Malaking bagay talaga ito dahil minsan yung mga pasyente naming kailangang dalhin sa Maynila o La Union kaya walang naiiwan dito na ambulansiya.”
He also thanked Governor Marcos for initiating PGIN’s request, saying “very concerned siya sa healthcare services.”
“Public safety and security is an essential pillar of development indeed… through this generous provision from the PCSO, our provinces moves one step forward in assuring the best for our constituents,” Governor Marcos said in a message. “Talagang nagpapasalamat kami sa PCSO at kay Presidente Duterte, Apo Digong, natuluy-tuloy ang suporta, ang tulong, naibinibigay ng gobyerno sa bawat Ilocano, sa bawat Filipino.” (Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)