MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said its Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) will continue despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal order to ban all gaming schemes.
In a statement made on Monday, July 29, the agency said IMAP services will still be available today onwards at the Lung Center of the Philippines and at all PCSO Branch Offices nationwide “unless otherwise instructed.”
This comes after Duterte late on Friday, July 26, ordered the closure of all gaming schemes operated, licensed, and franchised by the PCSO due to “massive corruption.”
There has been no written order for the closure as of this writing. But Malacañang said on Monday, July 29, that the ban will stay until the government finishes its investigation into the alleged corruption.
Institutionalized in 1995, IMAP provides funding for medical services like confinement, medicine, dialysis, cardiac procedures, and rehabilitative therapy, among other things. Funding from the program comes from PCSO’s charity fund, or 30% of its revenues.
In 2018, a total of 528,190 patients benefitted from the over P8 billion provided by the program.
PCSO said that it “supports the decision of our dear President in eradicating corruption and illegal gambling activities.” To this end, PCSO immediately implemented Duterte’s order by disabling lotto and keno terminals on Saturday, July 27, the day after the president’s verbal order.
However, PCSO said it would seek a reconsideration of the order, as it would result in massive foregone earnings and job losses. – Rappler.com