Heroes amongst us: Trapped PAGCOR employees prioritized saving other people in burning hotel

Although trapped and injured, employees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) prioritized saving other people first during the fire incident in Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel last Sunday, PAGCOR officials disclosed.

According to PAGCOR Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Corporate Communications Carmelita Valdes and AVP for Entertainment Jimmy Bondoc, the PAGCOR employees weren’t even given orders to assist other individuals during the incident but the staff insisted.

“Sila po ang may desisyon to stay. Ilang ulit po silang kinalampag, pinalabas ng kwarto para lumikas na. Ang malinaw dito, ang inuna nila ma-clear ‘yung mga tao becaue that’s their job,” Valdez said.
“Inuna nila ‘yung mga tao in a heroic fashion,” Bondoc added.

Bondoc also said that the employees, including survivor Jennilyn Figueroa, decided to secure the agency’s money based on their initiative.

“Yung sa treasury, hindi nila inakala na ganun kabilis ang ikakalat ng apoy kaya sinecure muna sa vault ang pera. That is not because they were trading their life for money. Ginawa lang nila yung duty nila kasi ganyan ang training nila. But they always had the choice to leave,” he said. “It was their choice na unahin muna ung pag-aari ng gobyerno at ang safety ng iba,” he furthered.

Clarifying the agency’s Standard Operating Procedure, Bondoc said that they do not require any protocol for their employees to prioritize the establishment’s properties in such situation.

“Wala pong kahit anong mandato ang PAGCOR na unahin yung pera kesa yung sarili nila. Wala po tayong pinipigilan na lumabas o isecure lahat. Hindi po importante kung ano man ang dapat na.. ang maiwan doon. Ang importante ay mailikas po sila,” Bondoc said.

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