By JEL SANTOS
A total of P6.5 million will be given to the earthquake-stricken provinces of Pampanga and Zambales, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office(PCSO) announced yesterday.
On April 22, a strong earthquake jolted Luzon. The epicenter of the 6.1-magnitude earthquake was located in Zambales.
Its neighboring province Pampanga was badly devastated as a four-story supermarket in Porac collapsed. At least 16 people died in Pampanga and Zambales because of the powerful earthquake.
Director Sandra Cam, PCSO board member, said that the board agreed to allocate P5 million to Pampanga, and P1.5 million to Zambales.
The financial aid was set after the PCSO board received the assessments of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office(PDRMO) of Pampanga and Zambales.
Recently, Cam and PCSO officers went to Zambales and Pampanga to check the damage caused by the earthquake.
The financial help of PCSO will be wired directly to the local government units as they will be the ones in charge of distributing these to the victims.
Aside from the calamity fund, PCSO said it will also provide medical assistance to victims in hospitals through the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP).
Cam said she also visited the survivors at the Jose Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in Porac, Pampanga.
She told survivors not to worry about their expenses, saying they should focus on getting well as the government will take care of their hospital bills.
PCSO said it will also provide artificial legs for the two employees of the four-story supermarket Maria Lourdes Martin and Desiree Pacun whose limbs had to be amputated because they were pinned down by debris.