THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has donated eight units of ambulance worth P6.4 million to different towns in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm).
The ambulances were turned over on Wednesday, May 17, to the respective town beneficiaries at the Office of the Regional Government compound in Cotabato City.
Five of the beneficiary-towns are from the province of Maguindanao. These include Matanog, Barira, Paglas, Sultan Mastura, and Datu Hoffer Ampatuan.
The other beneficiaries are Bacolod-Kalawi, Lanao del Sur; Basilan General Hospital, Isabela City, Basilan; and, Sulu Sanitarium Jolo, Sulu.
Armm Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia said they are thankful for the PCSO's Ambulance Donation Program.
Alamia said the ambulance service will allow recipient municipalities to better respond to health and other humanitarian emergencies.
Alamia congratulated the eight Armm local government units (LGUs) for qualifying as recipients and for showing not just "the need for ambulance in your municipalities but also the capacity of the local government units to utilize and maintain the ambulance."
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said each ambulance unit costs around P800,000 and the funds for its acquisition come from the PCSO's responsible gaming services that include the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL), Lotto, Keno, and Sweepstakes.
Balutan said that as of November 2016, the PCSO has donated a total of 1,503 ambulance units to beneficiaries that include different LGUs, hospitals, health institutions, state universities and other government agencies.
He said the PCSO has allotted about P37.4-billion funds for its ambulance donation program in 2015 and the allocation was increased to approximately P40 billion in the first quarter of 2016.
He said the PCSO is eager to do more for the less fortunate in the region with the help of the Armm government. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)