PSA: Suspicious accounts posing as fire-hit PGH circulate online amid call for donations

May 17, 2021 - 3:27 PM
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UP-Philippine General Hospital, a unit under UP Manila. (Photo from UP-PGH Child Protection Unit website)

Suspicious donation channels posing as the Philippine General Hospital started circulating online over the weekend.

Rheumatologist Dr. Geraldine Zamora, who is also an alumni of the University of the Philippines, cautioned the public online from interacting or donating to these dubious individuals online.

“Guys, this is the officially sanctioned call for emergency donations from PGH due to the fire today,” Zamora said.

“Please be wary about possibly altered account numbers on this poster since that has happened in the recent past. Thank you,” she added.

Zamora also attached and shared screenshots of the two “call for donation” posts of PGH in a Twitter thread on May 16.

The screenshots came from the official Facebook page of PGH where it first sought for the public’s help following the fire that broke out earlier on Sunday morning.

The fire started at the third floor of the hospital’s operating rooms’ sterilization area and reached second alarm status.

Based on photos shared by reporters online, at least 12 infants have to be transferred to the San Lazaro Hospital and five other private patients were sent to other health facilities. It was declared fire out by 5:41 am of Sunday.

PGH later appealed for emergency donations in the form of food, non-food and cash. It also provided information on where the public can course their donations.

It then posted an update with bank details where cash donations can be transferred to.

 

Under the same thread, Zamora reminded her followers to take note of account numbers before making donations.

“Screen-capped from the official UP-PGH COVID-19 Telegram thread. Please take note of account numbers when you donate online. Maraming salamat!” she said.

Zamora also attached a separate call for donated breastmilk for admitted premature and sick babies affected by the fire.


Facebook user Cindy Sotalbo, a worker at PGH, also shared the same infographic and urged those who wish to donate milk in an insulated bag.

“To prevent spoilage, they encourage people to send donations starting TOMORROW (Monday, 5/17/21) when power is expected to be running. Please coordinate with the PGH Milk Bank prior to sending so the cold chain can be maintained. PGH MILK BANK: 0920 665 5490,” the user said.

“You can drop off donations or send via courier (with insulated bag). For all those who messaged and expressed interest in sharing, may the universe send your family, especially your little ones, with lots of blessings and good karma. Salamat pong muli!” she added.

The UP Office of the Student Regent was among the first to respond and provided aid in the form of water, face masks and food to the government-run hospital.

It also opened its donation channels for cash and in-kind.

Vice President Leni Robredo later joined in the bayanihan movement to help PGH and asked her followers for some industrial fans.

“Appealing to anyone with big, industrial fans who would be willing to lend them. PGH urgently needs them to dissipate the smoke that enveloped the hospital due to the fire. Thank you,” she said.