On April 7, the world will celebrate World Health Day, which calls on world leaders to take concrete steps to move towards universal health coverage (UHC).
The goal is to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without having to undergo financial hardship.
Incidentally Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has been doing just that for 83 long years.
Staying true to its Charter, or Republic Act (RA) No. 1169, PCSO has been “providing and raising funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.”
“Every day is World Health Day here at PCSO. Every day, we try to help people who are undergoing financial crisis due to sickness. Our doors are always open– whether they’re rich or poor – as long as they are Filipino [they are qualified],” said PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan.
As of 1st Quarter this year, there are already 38,199 total number of cases received through the Individual Charity Assistance Program, to which the agency spent about P1.34 billion, according to Rubin Z. Magno, manager of the Charity Assistance Department (CAD) of PCSO.
Topping the list of the most requested cases is confinement/hospitalization with 13,769 requests, where the agency spent about P571.48 million; next is chemotherapy with 8,313 requests at P386.15 million; and medicines with 8,415 requests at P157.64 million.
In 2017, there are 143,200 overall total number of cases, to which the agency spent about P4.75 billion, and every year, the requests keep on increasing.
“That’s why instead of introducing a new game this year, we are focusing on innovating our strategies and enhancing our existing games to increase our sales revenues. As we all know, PCSO generate funds come from Lotto and other digit games, which is precisely the reason why we are going after illegal gambling because only gambling lords benefit from it. They don’t remit taxes to the government! While our Lotto, STL, and other games benefit everyone, especially the poor and the sick,” said Balutan.
At present, there are 58 PCSO At-Source-Ang-Processing (ASAP) Desks in partner hospitals and facilities nationwide.
ASAP Desk aims to expedite the provision of services by partner hospitals and facilitate the manner the requests are processed in PCSO.
It caters exclusively to the respective hospital’s patients in order to relieve them of the requirement for a personnel appearance at the PCSO Offices.
It is also a point of access to Individual Medical Assistance Program (or IMAP), a flagship program of PCSO under the CAD designed to attend to the financial needs of all individuals with health-related problems through the provision of financial assistance.
PCSO issues a guarantee letter to the hospital or partner health facility, which assume the obligation of a specific amount due from the client for the services rendered.
Apart from ASAP Desks, patients can also go to PCSO’s 63 branches across the country with the addition of seven new branches last year in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Catanduanes, Sultan Kudarat, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Davao del Norte, and Ifugao.
Applicants/patients seeking medical assistance must submit a 1) Medical Abstract, 2) Statement of Account, 3) Letter from the hospital, and 4) Personal Letter from the applicant.
When the Aboitiz group acquired Cotabato Light and Power Company some 83 years ago, part of the package was a facility that was and still is part of the fabric of the Cotabato community – the ice plant. While everyone at Aboitiz Group knew by heart the pillars of the group – power, food, land,...