PCSO charity assistance drops to less than half

MANILA, Philippines – The charity assistance given out by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) to indigent patients dropped by more than half in the month of October because of budget limitations, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said.

Balutan reported the 56% decrease in assistance in a press statement. This means that out of the 10 people who asked for PSCO's help, less than 5 requests were granted. 

Balutan said the charity assistance dipped from P416,663,375 in October 2017 compared to only  P181,956,434  in October 2018.

Balutan blamed budgetary constraints for the slash in the assistance.

In September, the daily budget for the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) of the agency was reduced to P4.1 million from the previous P20 million. The reduction was due to the over-utilization of medical assistance funds, which has reached over P4 billion as of July 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,” he said

According to the PCSO data, hospital confinement topped the list of requests for the nature of cases with 4,276 cases for an outlay of P64,850,200.

For the 2,487 cases chemotherapy, the PCSO handed out P39,512,300; dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal) with 4,600 at P37,840,300.

There were 1,383 cases of requests for medicines, with P16,412,340 allocated; while laboratory and diagnostic procedures had 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,” Balutan said.  

Balutan said the PCSO was trying its best to improve its current budget situation. 

“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.

58 new millionaires

Meanwhile, Balutan also said that Lotto draws has produced 58 millionaires who shared P3,424,842,197 jackpot prize in just 10 months.

Biruin mo nang dahil sa Lotto meron na tayong 58 millionaires, and that’s for the period of January to October this year,” said Balutan. (Could you believe that, our lotto draws produced 58 millioniares.) 

Of the 58, 21 came from Lotto 6/42 who shared P445,081,546; 15 from Mega Lotto 6/45 who divided P502,811,651; nine from Super Lotto 6/49 who split P519,383,205; 8 from Grand Lotto 6/55 who earned P395,471,823; and 5 from Ultra Lotto 6/58 who shared P1,562,093,972.

“The accumulated sales of the agency for Lotto alone is P17,039,845,780. Napakalaking tulong ito sa ating Charity Fund. Kaya I encourage everyone to continue patronizing our products,” said Balutan. (This a great help to  our Charity Fund.)

PCSO charter mandates that 55 percent of its revenues should be allocated for prizes, 15 percent for operational expenses, and 30 percent for its charity fund. – Rappler.com