PCSO continues to provide medical assistance despite the suspension of gaming operations

Published July 29, 2019, 6:10 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Jel Santos 

The Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) services of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) will still be available unless instructed otherwise, an official of PCSO said Monday.

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (MANILA BULLETIN)

“[O]ur Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) services at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City and all PCSO Branch Offices nationwide will still be available today onwards, unless otherwise instructed,” PCSO general manager Royina Garma said.

PCSO records showed that, through IMAP, the agency had provided almost P3 billion or a sum of P2, 816, 760, 148. 11 to indigent Filipinos from January to June 2019.

The PCSO, meantime, did not answer how many people are being catered by the agency every day.

In 1995, IMAP was institutionalized to give “timely and responsive” financial assistance to individuals with health-related problems.

The IMAP uses Guarantee Letter as the medium in providing such services addressed to health facilities. Then, the PCSO assumes the obligation of a specific amount due from the client for the services rendered. The amount of assistance is based on the classification system established under the program.

The money being given by PCSO is from its Charity Fund, which is accumulated from its games, especially Lotto. PCSO said that 30 percent of the total revenue of Lotto goes directly to the Charity Fund.

This is how Lotto revenue is divided, according to PCSO’s Charter: 55 percent is set aside as a prize fund for the payment of prizes, including those for the owners, jockeys of running horses, and sellers of winning tickets; 30 percent is for contributions to the charity fund; and the remaining 15 percent is meant for the operating expenses and capital expenditures of the Office.

On the other hand, Garma said bettors who are currently holding winning Lotto and KENO tickets can still claim their prizes at the PCSO main office in Mandaluyong City.

“Prizes can still be claimed at the PCSO Head Office, Conservatory Building, Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday,” she said.

Garma said that PCSO fully supports the decision of Pres. Duterte to stop all the games which generate the agency’s Charity Fund.

“The PCSO supports the decision of our dear President in eradicating corruption and illegal gambling activities. The Agency programs, projects and activities are aligned to the objective and goal of our national government,” the PCSO general manager said.

On Monday afternoon, the PCSO Board had an emergency meeting called by PCSO Chairman Anselmo Pinili. It was not disclosed what was the agenda of the meeting.

Last Saturday, the online system of PCSO went offline around 7 a.m. following the order of Duterte. Policemen also went out and shut down outlet all over the country.

Read more: Duterte vetoes Security of Tenure bill

More than 300, 000 Small Town Lottery (STL) employees, Lotto and Keno agents temporarily lost their livelihood following the order of Pres. Duterte to halt all games and franchises sanctioned by PCSO pending probe.