The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) through the Charity Assistance Department reported that the agency helped 16,541 patients worth P518 million in June, an increase of 18.7 percent compared with the same period last year.
“The agency has already spent P518,626,694 million, an increase of 13 percent compared with the same period last year,” said PCSO General Manager Alexander “Mandirigma” Balutan.
The top three nature of requests include confinement with 5,120 patients, an increase 18.4% compared with the same period last year; request for medicines with 5,088 patients at 19.4%; and chemotherapy with 3,582 patients at 13.2%.
Other requests include radiation treatment, surgery, laser treatment, medical appliances, dialysis (hemodialysis and peritoneal), blood, and others.
The PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated to 55% for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30% for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15% as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses).
Based on Commission on Audit (COA) report in 2016, the total actual expenses of medical assistance program of PCSO exceeded its approved annual budget by P4.837 billion.
While PCSO recognizes its obligation and responsibility when it comes to disbursing funds, the agency is in a very difficult situation as compared with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Members of PhilHealth must have sufficient regularity of premium contributions to ensure that they are able to avail themselves of social health insurance benefits in accredited health care institutions.
At present, PCSO are discouraging patients or relatives to ‘appeal’ for additional grants once they have reached the maximum approved medical assistance. It has also developed schemes to further adapt and somehow compliment to what PhilHealth is doing.