Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan announced on Monday that the agency’s charity assistance registered a 56-percent decrease from P416,663,375 in October 2017 to P181,956,434 for the month of October 2018.
“While the Charity Assistance Department received 14,621 requests for the month of October this year, it only spent P181,956,434 as compared to the 12,048 nature of cases received on October 2017 where the agency spent P416,663,375. This time, we had to stick to the budget,” Balutan said.
Topping the list for the nature of cases when it comes to amount released is confinement with 4,276 cases at P64,850,200; followed by chemotherapy with 2,487 cases at P39,512,300; dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) with 4,600 at P37,840,300; requests for medicines with 1,383 cases at P16,412,134; and laboratory and diagnostic procedures with 520 cases at P10,614,700.
“But if you will look closely, dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) really topped the list when it comes to nature of requests. It even jumped from 972 cases in October 2017 to 4,600 for October this year, but the agency only released P37,840,300 due to this budget constraint,” said Balutan.
“Hopefully it’s only temporary. We are asking for everyone’s understanding and cooperation. Rest assured we are doing everything to address this,” he added.
Last September, the daily budget for the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) of the agency was reduced to P4.1 million from about P20 million daily. The reduction was due to the overutilization of medical assistance funds, which has reached over P4 billion as of July 2018.
In an earlier interview with Dr. Larry Cedro, PCSO’s Assistant General Manager for Charity Services, he said there was a marked increase in the number of beneficiaries availing of financial support from the agency by 37.93 percent for the first semester of 2018, compared to its 2017 data of the same period. This is compounded further by the rising cost in healthcare treatment.
“We have to change the manner by which PCSO provides medical assistance as this may result in problems with the Commission on Audit,” said Cedro.