By Erma Edera
A total of P30 million has been donated to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) by personalities led by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno for the sake of children with cancer and patients of liver ailments.
“We as adults have seen the world. These children have not and if I could help give them a new lease on life, why not?” Moreno said.
The bulk of the donation, some P24.5 million, came from proceeds of a golf tournament organized by Manila third district councilor, Letlet Zarcal. This, as Zarcal opted to raise funds for the hospital as a way to celebrate his 45th birthday last October 24.
For his part, Moreno, a former actor, revealed that he accepted some endorsement offers so that he could donate money to the sick children at PGH.
The mayor said he donated his P1 million talent fee for a modeling contract with Jag Jeans as well as his P1.5 million earnings as brand ambassador of a coffee chain.
Meanwhile, Kenny Rogers restaurant and Seattle’s Best Coffee also gave P1 million each to the state-run hospital. Jag Jeans donated another P1 million, while its sister companies also gave away P2 million for the same cause.
Donating an ambulance to the hospital were Tata Motors and Mitsubishi Motors.
Honest tricycle driver rewarded
In another feel-good development, Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna awarded P100,000 and a regular job to tricycle driver Benjie Ordanza after he returned a backpack containing over P1.2 million to a Chinese national.
According to Ordanza, 42, of Baseco Compound, Manila, he saw a bag inside his tricycle after he took a passenger, Zhang Lei, 26, to Quiricada Street.
Ordanza said he checked the bag and saw bundles of money inside. He then sought the help of second district Councilor Darwin Sia so that he could return the bag to its owner.
The tricycle driver said he was inspired to return the bag after seeing other people returning lost items through the Mayor’s office.
Moreno commended Ordanza for his honesty and for not taking interest in the money although he has five children to feed every day.
“He could have done something other than this. It’s literally very rare nowadays, because times are hard, it’s very easy to want what’s not yours, especially if no one’s looking,” Moreno said.