P5M Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office aid to build quake-hit Aetas’ houses

THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said that the P5 million aid originally meant for relief goods of typhoon victims will be used instead to build wooden houses for the Aetas affected by the strong earthquake that jolted Luzon.

This after Director Sandra Cam, PCSO board member, was told by Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda that the P5-million aid that was meant before for relief goods for typhoon victims will instead be used to build wooden houses for the Aetas.

The financial aid was not utilized by the local government because it was released late by PCSO.

“Governor Pineda said that our P5-million aid before that was released five months after the typhoon will be used instead to build houses for the Aetas affected by the earthquake. Originally it was meant to be used to purchase relief goods for the victims of the typhoon,” Cam said after visiting Pampanga again last Tuesday.

The PCSO board member was told by Aetas in Porac, Pampanga that they do not want concrete houses, saying they want their houses to be made of wood as they got traumatized after the earthquake.

It can be recalled that Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Deputy Secretary General Dr. Susan Mercado, who went to the displaced Aeta community in Porac last April 24, learned that Aetas no longer want to stay at concrete establishments as they fear the possibility of another earthquake.

“The Aetas refuse to stay in any type of concrete evacuation center as they are traumatized by the shaking.

There are also those with pre-existing mental health issues who are further triggered into depression and anxiety,” she said in a Facebook post.

Recently, PCSO released P5 million for Pampanga days after it was hit by the strong earthquake. The agency, meantime, gave Zambales P1.5 million.