PCSO extends P.5 million financial aid to former athletics star De Vega

THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) extended a P.5-million financial aid to the family of former Asian Sprint Queen Lydia de Vega-Mercado, who is still in critical condition because of complications brought by Stage 4 breast cancer.

Newly-appointed PCSO Chairman Junie Cua said they responded to the call of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to provide financial help to the sports legend.

Cua, who is a former lawmaker, said the financial aid came from the funds from his office as well as the office of the general manager of PCSO.

“The PCSO is coming to the aid of many. It just so happened that I think the honor that Lydia De Vega has brought to this country deserves a special attention but as we are speaking, the PCSO family daily, hourly have been extending help not only in this central office but in the field offices all over the country,” Cua told reporters in a press conference on Tuesday.

The financial assistance from PCSO was received by De Vega-Mercado’s daughter, Stephanie Mercado-de Koenigswarter.

Stephanie expressed gratitude for PCSO’s financial assistance for her mother, who she said is facing the “biggest race of her life.”

While she said her mother is in a critical condition, Stephanie said the sports legend is conscious although there are times that she is unresponsive.

“On behalf of my entire family, I would like to express my deepest and sincerest gratitude to the assistance provided today by the PCSO,” she said.

“We know how tough she is, she is really a fighter, you know. I know she won’t allow that this time will be her time,” he said.

PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles appealed for more financial assistance for the family of De Vega, who he described as the country’s “gem.”

“We are spearheading this. We are giving but definitely, it is a far cry from what they need so we are also appealing to others in helping the family,” Robles said.

Meanwhile, Cua said they may also create a special fund for athletes who may also need financial help, if necessary.

As the new PCSO chief, Cua also vowed to improve their revenue generation in a bid to answer the President’s order to make the government more responsive to the needs of Filipinos, especially the marginalized sector.

“Primordial to all this desire the vision of our President is our effort to raise revenue for the agency and there are many ways that we are looking into this. We are looking at improving our marketing channel, digitization of our system, digitization of marketing so there are many things that PCSO is trying to do along this line to answer the call of the president to help more people,” he said.

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