Charity agency is not contributing a cent to Aquino social fund

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THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Thursday categorically denied reports that it is the main contributor to President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s Presidential Social Fund (PSF).

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PCSO Chairman Margarita Juico said that for the record, the agency, which is a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC), does not remit to the PSF.

She added that President Aquino has never approached PCSO about contributing to the PSF or to any other government fund.

“Indeed, the only instructions we have received from him time and again is to ensure that PCSO’s entire Charity Fund be distributed among those who need it most, to the poorest of our kababayan who cannot afford medical coverage and healthcare,” Juico pointed out.

For his part, PCSO General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas 2nd said the report was just a misconception by the agency’s critics being circulated to the media.

“This is a misconception that has gained ground with the public through erroneous news reports and we would like the public to be aware of this,” he added.

Rojas also clarified that under PCSO’s mandate, its revenues are distributed according to a strict allocation scheme—55 percent to the Prize Fund (which returns to the public in the form of prize money for Lotto and PCSO’s other games), 30 percent to the Charity Fund (given as assistance to individuals and institutions for medical and healthcare needs), and only 15 percent for the agency’s operating expenses.

Juico also stressed that PCSO does not receive anything from the National Treasury for operations, including salaries and compensations.

“Everything that our agency gives away and uses comes from the public’s warm and generous support of Lotto and other games,” she added.

During a hearing of the Games and Amusements Committee of the Lower House on Monday, Committee Chairman Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. and other congressmen discovered that not a centavo from PCSO has ever gone into the PSF.

“PCSO must reiterate to the public that they have never given any funds to the PSF,” said Rep. Miro Quimbo of Marikina, who is also a member of the committee.

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