Melody Terados was terrified when flood waters suddenly swept into their humble abode in Barangay San Isidro, Tanay, Rizal in the morning of August 7, 2012. The murky water quickly rose waist-high, forcing the 41-year old housewife, her husband and their two children to flee for safety.
“Nilikas po namin agad ang bahay namin dahil naging mabilis ang pagtaas ng baha. Wala po kaming magawa kundi iwan ang aming mga gamit dahil kaligtasan ng mga anak ko ang inuna naming mag-asawa,” recounted Mrs. Terados. (“We hastily left our house because of the rapid rise of the flood water. We cannot do anything but leave our belongings because we had to prioritize the safety of our children,” recounted Mrs. Terados.)
Like Mrs. Terados and her family, Habagat’s incessant rains which lasted for more than a week left thousands of families in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces homeless and devastated. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that close to 600,000 families or more than 2.6 million individuals in 156 towns and 34 cities in 16 provinces and the National Capital Region (NCR) were gravely affected by the massive flooding.
With the floods subsiding at a snail’s pace and with thousands of affected families left wanting for basic necessities like food and water, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) readily took heed of calls for help. The agency conducted nine relief operations for 10,000 affected families simultaneously.
According to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. this is only the first tranche of the agency’s relief operations. “We have allocated a total budget of P8.14 million for this undertaking. We intend to give help to at least 20,000 families. Many of our countrymen were badly affected by this recent flooding. Itong aming relief operations ang paraan ng PAGCOR para matulungan ang ating mga kababayan na labis na naapektuhan ng kalamidad na ito.”
PAGCOR has so far distributed relief packs to 2,000 families in Barangay Baseco, Tondo. It also provided relief goods to 3,000 families badly hit by the flooding in Tumana and Nangka, Marikina City; Sta. Ana, Manila; and Malabon City. In the provinces, PAGCOR conducted relief operations for 5,000 families in Concepcion, Tarlac; Guiguinto, Bulacan; Rosario, Cavite; Taytay, Rizal; and San Isidro, Tanay, Rizal.
Several barangays in Tanay, Rizal were still submerged in water when the PAGCOR team arrived in one evacuation center located at the Patricio Jarim Elementary School in Barangay San Isidro on Monday, August 13, 2012. Mrs. Terados and her family were among those who benefited from the relief operations.
“Maraming maraming salamat po sa PAGCOR sa pagtulong sa aming naapektuhan ng matinding pagbaha,” said Mrs. Terados. (“Thank you very much to PAGCOR for helping us and the other people who were affected by the flood,” said Mrs. Terados.) Around 150 families in Barangay San Isidro lost their properties.
Board Member Emigdio Tanjuatco III of Tanay, Rizal also expressed his gratitude to PAGCOR for helping their constituents. “Malaking bagay na natulungan kami ng PAGCOR sa pagbibigay ng relief goods sa aming mga kababayan. Isang linggo na pong baha at ang mga tao ay hindi pa makabalik sa kanilang mga kabahayan.” (It is a big help that PAGCOR distributed relief goods to our constituents. It has already been a week since our place has been flooded and the people cannot go back to their homes yet.”)
Rehabilitation efforts are underway in many affected communities. The immediate priority now is to provide the residents with basic necessities like food, water, clothing and shelter.
“Kaya kami po ay nagpapasalamat sa pamunuan ng PAGCOR sa pangunguna ni Chairman Naguiat at mga miyembro ng Board at pati na rin sa mga empleyadong tumulong para maisaayos ang relief operations na ito,” Tanjuatco added. (“We are very grateful to the management of PAGCOR led by Chairman Naguiat and the members of the Board, and also to the employees who helped organize the relief operations,” Tanjuatco added.)
Providing immediate relief and assistance to people like Mrs. Terados and her family is proof of PAGCOR’s unrelenting commitment to be a responsive partner of the Philippine government in times of disasters and calamities.