Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan on Monday said the Universal Health Care (UHC), the flagship health program of President Rodrigo Duterte, will get maximum fund support even as he directed the agency’s gaming sector to intensify its operations to raise more funds from its various Lotto products, Sweepstakes and Small Town Lottery (STL).
This year, Balutan said PCSO has been an active member of the President’s “Malasakit Center” nationwide. The other key members are the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).
“With the UHC law on the works by both Houses of Congress, the President is assured PCSO will work hard to provide more funds for free hospitalization of patients specially the indigents who can’t even afford to buy their own medicines. Patients afflicted with life-threatening illness such as those who needs chemotherapy and radiation and dialysis treatments, implant and transplant operations, and even those who needs wheelchair, hearing aids were already made easier for them to avail financial assistance through the UHC via the Malasakit Centers,” Balutan said.
After some confusions about the transfer of PCSO’s 30% charity fund under the Senate version, Balutan said this has been clarified and agreed that the whole Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) should be fully transferred Philhealth.
The IMAP is the flagship project of PCSO that comprises services such as financial assistance for hospital bill, chemo/radiation and dialysis treatments and other medical services to patients that needs immediate financial assistance.
“I want to thank our Senators for listening to our concerns and hopefully everything will be fine and the UHC would become a law soon,” Balutan said.
He said PCSO services under its institutional partnership program would be retained such as the ambulance donation, calamity assistance, capability building for regional health units, medicines procurement, the Integrated Health for Overall Productivity and Empowerment (I-HOPE), endowment fund, among others. This comprises 60% of the charity fund.
The UHC bi-cameral conference is expected within the first and second weeks of September and this would be transmitted to the Office of the President in the 3rd or 4th week of said month.
Since the President already certified the UHC bill as urgent everyone is expecting him to sign it into law before the start of the filing of certificate of candidacy in the first week of October.
For the first semester, PCSO already produced almost P31 billion in revenues and Balutan said the agency is on track of its projected revenue of P55-B to P60-B this year.
“I’m confident we can reach the target with the full support of the President and of course the gaming public. We have to intensify our campaign against jueteng and all forms of illegal numbers games by expanding further our STL operations in all cities and provinces. Our STL already earned P12.3-B from January to June and the current 79 Authorized STL Agents deserve commendation for helping this government provide funds for health programs and free medical services to the people,” Balutan said.
Meanwhile, Balutan expressed gratitude to Duterte and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez II for recognizing PCSO 5th place among best performing from the 125 Government-Owned and Controlled Corps. (GOCCs), remitting dividends to the government.
“PCSO is now in the list of the so-called ‘Billionaires’ Row’ and we’re very proud of that. Thank you Mr. President, House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was also a witness to this award and DOF Sec. Dominguez. Most of all, to the gaming public and all the beneficiaries of PCSO, maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyo,” Balutan said.