PCSO’s lavish spending over a poor Tondo boy’s life

WHAT a great way to start the New Year especially with family, loved ones and endeared friends who have stayed all through the years through thick and thin.

Nevertheless, it’s unfortunate and gravely dismaying to find out a particular agency like the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, that’s supposed to extend help to the needy as what its name conveys, became the culprit that claims the life of a young poor boy from Tondo, Manila.

I’m not only with my Kumpadre, Benny Antiporda, who used to head the National Press Club  and now the president of the equally pro-small media practitioner Alyansa ng Filipinong Mamamahayag  but with the entire NPC in revolting for what the PCSO did and how can they explain its lavish spending at the time the mother of Jesus Raphael Catiis was claiming the promised money but was plainly ignored.

And who is she anyway, who lives in the poorest slums of Tondo over an extravagant Christmas party hosted by the PCSO at Wack-Wack Golf and Country Club that’s attended by 1,200 persons?

P1, 000 per person was charged by this premier sports enclave, meaning it spent P1.2-million for the partying while the baby was dying. The 11-month-old Rafael expired just the same way at 11:35 p.m. a day after Christmas Day of 2010 due to inborn damaged liver.

“He could have lived until today if only the PCSO kept its pledge to give half of the P2-million fund needed to pay for the liver transplant scheduled in Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan,” says the visibly-irked NPC president Jerry Yap in a statement.

It all began when Pareng Benny, who was then the NPC head, accepted the challenge to come to the rescue of the indigent boy by writing the PCSO for help. And he was lucky because the PCSO board then composed of Chairman Sergio Valencia, General Manager-Vice Chairman Rosario Uriarte and Directors Jose Taruc V, Raymundo Roquero, Nestor Camacho and Manuel Morato didn’t falter as it passed a resolution committing a “financial and medical assistance” in the maximum amount of P1 million.

Having managed to raise the P1-million counterpart to pay for the liver transplant, the NPC immediately asks the mother of Baby Rafael to claim the promised money from PCSO but she returns empty-handed as its current leadership refused to honor the pledge contained in the board resolution. The hapless mother could only cry to high heavens while watching her baby die.

According to the NPC statement, the chairman of the PCSO is Mrs. Juico and her husband is the president of the golf and country club. “In the face of the urgent need for P1 million to save the life of an extraordinarily pity baby, the PCSO breached its commitment and chose to squander funds in a lavish manner, making the whole mess revolting to conscience.”

The NPC is asking: “Now that the baby is dead, can the PCSO answer for this?  The life of the boy is priceless and yet it cannot be taken back anymore even with the biggest jackpot winning from Lotto.

To PCSO executives: DAMN you all! Arlie Calalo


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