By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) formally received checks amounting to P85 million from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) under the agency’s AFP/Philippine National Police (PNP) Health Capability Program in a ceremony held at the PCSO Conservatory Building, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City, on Monday, April 1.
The P85,946,975 financial assistance will be distributed to eight selected AFP military treatment facilities.
“On behalf of the whole AFP, we humbly accept this donation through the benevolent initiative of Mr Anselmo Simeon Pinili, Chairman of PCSO and Maj Gen Alexander Balutan (Ret). Thank you for acknowledging the hardships of our soldiers and for easing our struggles through your own simple way,” AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin R Madrigal Jr. said in his speech, as read by Rear Adm. Jande S. Francisco, deputy chief of staff for Communications, Electronics and Information Systems Service AFP (CEISSAFP), J6.
The collaboration among PCSO, AFP, and the PNP started in 2018 with the mission to improve the capabilities of our military and police medical facilities to enable them to provide quality health care services to its mandated and expanded clientele.
The PCSO said it will always be ready to assist the AFP through donations in times of calamities as it also delivered medicines and bottled water to evacuation centers in Marawi and Iligan City back in 2017.
In the same year, the agency donated P102 million for the upgrade of medical facilities, and another P1 million as additional funding for the scholar-dependents of our AFP personnel through the AFP Educational Benefit System Office.
In 2018, the PCSO donated P5 million as endowment fund to the Veterans Medical Center in Quezon City aside from its other programs.
“Today, we are again fortunate and truly grateful in receiving the PCSO Donation intended for the capability upgrade of selected AFP medical treatment facilities,” Madrigal said.
“These acts of generosity shall continuously serve as motivation and inspiration for our troops to carry on with our mission of protecting the people and our nation,” he added.
“I assure you that this donation would certainly make that difference and would positively affect the lives of our soldiers and at the same time greatly improve the quality of health services that our AFP medical treatment facilities can provide them and their families,” Madrigal concluded.