Story Contributed by: Alvin Lejano – Sales Team Lead, Camp Crame Branch
William Shakespeare once said that “No legacy is so rich as honesty”. In the present world where hardships in life are present, it is already admirable if a person would take time out of his busy schedule to help another. But while this trait can already make a person stand out from the rest, what is really commendable is if a person would still choose to do good and act right even on the face of temptation.
Such is the story of PO3 Elson B Banasan of the National Headquarters Support Service Base Police. On a cloudless Monday morning of July 11, 2016 while walking along the pedestrian crossing near the Rotonda of Camp Crame, PO3 Banasan stumbled upon a brown envelope on the road and picked it up.
“Off duty na po ako nun, pupunta sana ako sa palengke. Nung patawid ako may nakita akong brown envelope at pagbukas ko po, pera ang laman. Madaming pera.” Recalls PO3 Banasan.
While he could have easily picked up the envelope and kept it for himself since no one was with him at the time, PO3 Banasan had this to share:
“Isinauli ko po. Tinatanong nga po nila ako kung bakit hindi ko nalang idinagdag sa pamalengke ko pero hindi ko naman po naisip yun. Ang alam ko po hindi sa akin, kaya kailangan ko ibalik. Tiwala naman tayo na kahit sinong pulis ang makapulot nun, ibabalik ang pera.”
Thus, he surrendered the envelope to his Commanding Officer PCINSP Jeffrey Lim, and after laying the contents, they found PHP38,000.00 in cash and a PSSLAI slip in the name of SPO2 Franklin B. Caacbay.
That morning SPO2 Caacbay went to PSSLAI to borrow money to pay off his child’s tuition and other existing debts. Understanding his need, PSSLAI Camp Crame Branch promptly assisted him and facilitated his loan which was released on the same morning of his application. However due to various things on his mind, he missed seeing that the envelope where he placed his loan proceeds slipped and fell from his bag.
FILLED WITH GRATITUDE
SPO2 Caacbay shares when asked how he felt when he lost his money, “Hindi na ako umasa na babalik, kaya ang laking gulat ko nung tumawag sila at pinapapunta ako sa HSS kasi sinauli daw ang pera ko. Nagpapasalamat ako kay PO3 Banasan. Sir Salamat po! Hindi lahat magbabalik nun.”
While PO3 Banasan received commendation and honor from his superiors and the public for his good deed, he maintains that praises or none, a person, especially people like him who serve the public, must be honest at all times.
He shares that his two children and wife residing in Baguio continually serves as his inspiration. Despite living in the PNP Barracks to save money and being away from his family because they cannot afford yet to get a place in Metro Manila, PO3 Banasan reiterates that he was never tempted to get the money and ends with “Napakagaan sa kalooban. Hindi sumagi sa isip ko na itabi ang pera kasi hindi akin yun. Masaya na ako na nakatulong sa aking kapwa.”
He believes that as public servants, the men and women of the Philippine National Police already bears the heart to serve others. Nonetheless, stories like PO3 Elson B. Banasan’s plant good seeds of honesty which we hope would grow, bear fruit and multiply in the future.
HOPE & HEALING
The Journey of a single working mom for her son’s recovery
Story Contributed by: Luz del Carmen Customer Service Assistant PSSLAI Cebu Extension Office
No one would probably refute the statement that being a single parent is not an easy task. With the responsibility of feeding your children, ensuring a roof over their heads, sending them to school, taking care of them, and getting a job to sustain the family, a single mom’s life is full of twists and turns that a single incident can change spell out financial disaster.
Such was the case of PO3 Myralona Mahinay who went through one of the biggest trials of her life. Myra, as she likes to be called, is a single parent blessed with two children named Loureen and Keanu. Her everyday schedule consists of preparing her children’s needs, sending them to school, and reporting for work at the WCPD/ FJGS Section, Headquarters, Camp Sotero Cabahug, Gorordo Ave., Cebu City (Cebu City Police Office).
WHAT MOVES HER
As a mother and a police officer, she is diligent with her responsibilities and cites her children as her motivation to accomplish more. “Being a single parent is not an easy task but having my children by my side is enough reason for me to work hard. They are my source of strength and my inspiration in life.” she shares.
Everything was going well for Myra until her youngest son, Keanu, was diagnosed with Pott’s Disease or known as the tuberculosis of the spine – a serious illness that requires urgent medical and surgical attention. Though her family and colleagues tried to help, the cost of the MRI, surgery, and the medicines still ate up most of PO3 Myra’s income. As the illness progressed, Keanu’s condition worsened and in 2009 he became bedridden for 4 years thereafter despite continuous medical attention.
With depleted savings, Myra sought help from different financial institutions for the treatment of her son but her loan applications were turned down because she was already in debt with financial institutions who charged her with astronomical hidden charges thus ballooning her loan amount to proportions that ate up most of her income.
AN ANSWER TO HER PRAYERS
Fortunately, she saw the PSSLAI signage in front of PRO7 and met PSSLAI Cebu Extension Office’s Customer Service Assistant Mrs. Luz del Carmen who explained about the PSSLAI Buy-Out Loan.
With her loan at PSSLAI, Keanu underwent a successful operation and was able to get continuous and proper medical treatment. Moreover, PO3 Myra utilized the remaining unused amount from her loan to put up a sari-sari store that now helps in building their family’s savings fund. Today, Keanu is a happy and active 15 year old boy who faces a bright future ahead of him. Like his sibling, who is still on his third year taking up Bachelor in Science in Commerce Major in Business Administration, thanks his mom who exhausted all possible ways for him to survive.
“I am a proud and fortunate PSSLAI member because I have experienced firsthand how they truly care for all members. I am a single mother but PSSLAI became my partner and their people gave me hope and helped solve my financial worries especially during the time when my son was fighting for his life. Today my son is healed and I return the favor by sharing and expressing my gratitude on how PSSLAI changed our lives for the better.” she ends.