The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has scaled down its financial assistance program, after 40 percent of its charity funds had been diverted to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) to fund the Universal Health Care Law.

Only hospitalization, dialysis, hemophilia, post-transplant medicines, and chemo drugs would be covered by the charity wing of the state-run games corporation, according to Maria Victoria J. Colisao, officer-in-charge branch head of PCSO Palawan.

“Ang lahat ng hindi nabanggit ay hindi na ipinatuloy ng PCSO ibigay as assistance sa ating mga kababayan,” Colisao told the City Council on Monday.

Individuals seeking help for laboratory fees and medicines would also no longer be entertained, which comprised the bulk of daily requests being received by the charity office.


Downsized Help

The daily allocation for the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) was trimmed to P80,000 per branch from the previously shared P3.8 million across Southern Tagalog and Bicol branch offices, with at least 61 percent of the daily allocation generated from the game income.

Medical bills above P100,000 would be given a maximum of P50,000, while those with P100,000 and below may only receive up to P20,000. This was a significant drop from the previous financial assistance reaching up to 80 percent of the total bill.

“Lahat ng mga pumupunta na pasyente sa aming opisina, ipinagkakasya na lang namin itong P80,000 pesos,” Colisao said.

This developed after PCSO’s operation was suspended from March 17 to July 7 due to the pandemic lockdowns.


LGU Agreement

PCSO is also eyeing to enter into a “3-in-1 memorandum of agreement (MOA)” with the local governments throughout the country, directly allocating 30 percent of its daily lottery earnings to the local charity funds including a 5 percent share to the LGU for its assistance programs.

“Sa 100 percent na taya, 55 percent ay napupunta sa ating prize fund, ang 15 percent ay nasa ating operating fund at ang 30 percent ay nasa charity fund. Magkakaroon ang mga LGU ng 5 percent share from the charity fund,” Colisao said.

The 5 percent share will be directly downloaded to the LGU’s treasury based on the executive order (EO) 357-A signed by former president Fidel V. Ramos.

The 3-in-1 MOA would set forth PCSO’s assistance for calamity, lotto-earning share, and small-town lottery (STL) charity fund sharing scheme.

The STL operations, which was brought to life through Resolution No. 464 approved by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on December 28, 2005, is expected to start in Puerto Princesa on October based on the updated implementing rules and regulations approved by president Rodrigo Duterte on September 18.

PCSO started its operations in Palawan in 2000.


(With a report from Jeshyl Guiroy)