MANILA – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Monday turned over PHP1 billion from its charity fund to the Department of Finance (DOF), through the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr), in a bid to recover its losses due to the pandemic.
“This is in addition to the PHP2-billion remittance dividend of PCSO in 2019. We remitted an additional PHP1 billion this year, in support of the need to raise funds because we really need money to finance health programs of the government. To sum it up, we have remitted PHP3,219,815,658 — PHP1 billion, plus the PHP2.219 billion which we already turned over in 2019,” PCSO general manager Royina Garma told reporters in an interview at the PCSO main office in Mandaluyong City.
This is in response to a letter from the DOF dated April 7, 2021, requesting additional dividends from PCSO’s retained earnings from its charity fund for 2019, whose release was already cleared by the Commission on Audit.
BTr Collecting Officer Purita Belgica formally received the PHP1-billion check from Garma in a short ceremony.
Garma said the PCSO would continue to provide funds for healthcare, especially with the increasing number of patients seeking medical attention amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
“Since the start of pandemic in March last year, we were able to donate PHP300 million to our government hospitals last year with regards to our medical access program, we are dispensing around PHP7 million to PHP8 million a day for chemotherapy drugs, dialysis medicines, and financial assistance sa mga medical bills. Aside from, of course, the routine medicine donations natin where LGUs can directly request from us. I just came from Surigao yesterday where we turned over PHP120,000 worth of medicines,” she stressed.
The PCSO is mandated to set aside 30 percent of its revenue for charity, 55 percent for prizes, and 15 percent for its operation. All balances of any funds in the PCSO will form part of the charity fund.
“Salamat po sa lahat ng mananaya ng Lotto. Kayo po ‘yong aming hero, kayo po ‘yong katuwang ng PCSO para madugtungan ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan na higit na nangangailangan ng pinansyal para po makabili ng mga gamot (To all Lotto patrons, thank you very much. You are our heroes. You are the PCSO’s partners in helping save the lives of our fellow Filipinos who are in need of financial assistance for their medication),” she added.
Earlier, the PCSO has so far released more than PHP202.2 million in medical assistance to 24,360 eligible beneficiaries nationwide in September this year.
The PCSO said the funds were released to beneficiaries through the agency’s Medical Access Program (MAP).
In Luzon, the beneficiaries include 4,335 indigents from the National Capital Region who received PHP41.1 million worth of assistance; 3,439 from Northern and Central Luzon who were given PHP52.2 million; 5,756 from the Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region who received PHP43.8 million.
In the Visayas, 5,367 individuals were provided with PHP35.2 million in medical aid while 5,463 individuals received PHP29.9 million in Mindanao.
The MAP, formerly known as the Individual Medical Assistance Program, is designed to augment the medical assistance for indigent Filipinos, particularly for hospital confinement, chemotherapy, dialysis, and post-transplant medicines. (PNA)