MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager Alexander Balutan and Lucio Tan Group of Companies executives Michael Tan and Sharon Tan, scions of tycoon Lucio Tan, were recognized by the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) for their contributions to soldiers during the Marawi siege last year.
Brig. Gen. Alvin Parreño, PMC commandant, led the recognition ceremonies for Balutan, himself a former vice commandant of the PMC, and the Tan siblings during yesterday morning’s “colors” at the Marine Barracks Rudiardo Brown, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
“The honor and recognition that we have just bestowed to our awardees signify the strong partnership we have with our stakeholders. The Corps extends our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to your unselfish support to our operating troops during the Marawi campaign,” Parreño said in his speech.
“We acknowledge that we won’t achieve our mission without your help and assistance. The Marines were able to sustain the fight even to the extent of risking their precious life because they know that they have the Filipino people by their side,” Parreño added.
Parreño, in an interview with The STAR after the ceremonies, said the PCSO had donated a drone as well as water purifying systems, among others, while the Tan Group gave the Corps thousands of liters of bottled mineral water and provided transport during the “challenging days of the Marawi campaign.”
Balutan said the recognition was timely, considering the recent controversy faced by the PCSO, referring to the P6.5-million party they held at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City last Christmas.
He said the PMC recognition highlighted the fact that the PCSO is an active charitable arm of the government, rushing to give aid to those in crisis and in times of disaster.
“I’m back at the Marine Corps where I belong. I spent more than 37 years here. I spent most of my adult life here,” he added.
PCSO has a yearly calamity fund of P100 million approved by the Department of Budget and Management for natural and man-made disasters.