OVER the years, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has significantly increased the number of branches in its nationwide network in an effort to make services more accessible to remote and underserved areas of the country. Initially, PCSO established eight branches located in the provinces of Cebu, Legaspi, Iloilo, Tacloban, Pangasinan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga.
The opening of the newest branch in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato this month brought to fifty four (54) the total number of PCSO branches nationwide. These efforts are geared toward the fulfillment of the agency’s vision to have timely and responsive presence in every province by 2020 and in preparation for the “war on illegal gambling” come January 2017.
PCSO’s expansion efforts are expected to strengthen the revenue generation activities of the Agency and subsequently provide more effective means to address the increasing medical and health needs of the Filipino people. Every branch serves as a mini PCSO. Hence, all services being offered by the PCSO Head Office in Mandaluyong City and the PCSO Extension Office at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City are available in the branches including the claiming of prizes and processing of requests for medical and health care-related assistance. The branch also provides assistance to stakeholders in terms of its gaming business. It processes applications for opening of lotto outlets and serves as direct support to lotto agents in their respective areas. It is also worth mentioning that many people from the provinces benefit from the different programs of the Agency particularly the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP). Social workers from the branches are trained and equipped to handle and evaluate requests for medical assistance. Every year, a considerable number of patients are able to receive subsidies for their hospitalization, medicines and treatment expenses such as chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.
PCSO collaborated with Local Government Units (LGUs) in terms of allocation of spaces for PCSO branch offices. The partnership resulted to LGUs’ provision of spaces in government buildings under rent-free agreements.
The active presence of PCSO in the provinces contributes to the increased awareness of the public of its products and services. PCSO looks forward to establishing a branch in each of the country’s eighty one (81) provinces. By expanding its reach, it equally fulfills its crucial role in the upliftment of the quality of life of the Filipino people.