March 2, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – Cash and in-kind donations for residents affected by the fire in the wee hours of April 11 in Barangay Poblacion here continue to pour in coming from generous donors including those overseas.

As of 5 p.m. April 27, the local government has received P9,068,324.75 total cash donations based on the records of the Municipal Treasurer’s Office.

Among the long list of donors are three children who showed that age is just a number when it comes to helping others.

First is Hazel Cassandra “Gagsi” Lingbanan, from Barangay Samoki, Bontoc who happily opened her piggy bank on her seventh birthday and donated her savings totaling P3,155 to the fire victims.

According to her mother Henrietta Claire, who works at the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Gagsi’s savings came from her “earnings” doing household chores and coins she set aside from her allowance in school.

Her mother, who was deeply touched by the kind gesture of her daughter, accompanied her to the Bontoc Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where Gagsi handed her donation to MDDRM Officer Johanna Padaen. 

Second is eight-year-old Johanna Carina Dominique “Ayachi” Pablo Kiat-ong, who studies at the Rainbow of Angels. She also emptied her piggybank containing P5,000 to help in the relief efforts. Her mother, who was amazed at the selfless act of her daughter, took a video of Ayachi while emptying her piggy bank. 

Third is eight-year-old Castiel Jay “CJ” Bacwaden, a grade 2 pupil who also opened his piggy bank and donated P1,252.05. CJ started his piggy bank in April 2022. Their home is near the incident site where he saw the destruction caused by the fire. He and his cousin Kalel went to the EOC to hand over his savings.

Meanwhile, for the past days, workforce from the LGU and volunteers has been busy in the delivery of in-kind donations to the doorsteps of fire victims. Most of the victims sought temporary shelter in the houses of their immediate families and relatives.

Mayor Jerome Tudlong, Jr., extended his gratitude to everyone for their unselfish acts in helping the fire victims.

He added cash and in-kind donations, and manpower and equipment services at the incident site are a big help to those who lost their homes, properties, and livelihood. The mayor assured all donations would go to the victims.

“I am deeply touched by the enormous support and generosity that we continue to receive. We thank all those who helped us, be it in monetary, materials, services, prayers, mental and physical support, regardless of where, how, and when they did it. What is important is that you helped us,” the mayor said. – Alpine K. Malwagay