• Juico steers PCSO rebirth

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    Besieged with accusations of corruption and decadent leadership, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) was as good as dead.

    The principal government agency mandated to generate funds for health programs and charities of national character experienced a rebirth under the leadership of Chairman Margie Juico since 2010.

    Juico is proud that the agency on its 79th year is finally able to make money. She cleaned house by streamlining operations and cost cutting. It was able to pay its debts, and raised around P4 billion from the largest sweepstakes jackpot of P741 million. The PCSO had a 15-percent increase in sales last year, grossing P36.4 billion in 2012.

    The year 2013 has not ended yet, but the PCSO has already accomplished its goals for the year.

    A 25.65-percent increase in the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) highlights the agency’s performance outputs for the third quarter of 2013. With more than two months left in the year, PCSO has already granted 36,109 requests for IMAP, as compared to 28,826 in 2012. IMAP’s fund for 2013 is P943,550,016.84 and for 2012, P862,599,458.75.

    PCSO distributed 94,298 Family Emergency Medicine (FEM) Kits and 17,250 packs of mats, blankets, mosquito nets and rice in 2013 under its calamity assistance, as compared to 2,320 in 2012, a whopping 643.53-percent increase.

    Funds for calamity assistance were used in typhoon-ravaged Bataan, Rizal (habagat/typhoon), Zambales (typhoon), Zamboanga (siege/crisis), Santa Barbara, Pangasinan (typhoon), Calasiao, Pangasinan (typhoon), Laguna (habagat), Cavite (habagat) and Bohol (earthquake).

    From 222,089 IMAP beneficiaries in 2011, the individuals assisted by PCSO in 2012 grew to 276,512. The PCSO has also established in 2012 the Disaster and Calamity Rapid Response Committee, PCSO Milk Feeding Programs, Rural Primary Healthcare Capability -Building Projects (BR 306, series of 2012), and Family Emergency Medicine (FEM) Kits.

    PCSO has released P4.84 billion in Charity Fund from January to June 2013 for Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) requests for hospitalization, dialysis and chemotherapy.

    More savings mark its accomplishment for the period of January to August 2013, generating a savings of P372.1 million.

    Lotto sales for the said period amounted to more than P20 billion (P20,197,527,280) and Lotto Express totaled P1,155,346,740 in January to August 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 where P622,248,840 was generated and in 2011 which sales amounted to P378,694,040.

    The following have been accomplished: the Tahan-Tahanan Project, a temporary housing shelter for pediatric cancer patients from the provinces established at the East Avenue Medical Center; the opening of new branches in 2012 and2013; obtaining an “excellent” ARTA rating from the Civil Service Commission for front-line services to patients at the Fund Allocation and Charity Clinic departments; military and LGU hospitals/clinics given financial assistance and upgraded medical equipment; the Liver Transplant Project with The Medical City that provides for reduced cost of liver transplant; satellite clinics to reach more patients; and the rehabilitation of rural health centers in 5th- and 6th-class municipalities.

    The agency’s services include hospitalization, dialysis, medicines, chemotherapy drugs, laboratory/diagnostic procedures, wheelchair, hearing aid, implant/prosthesis, medical and dental missions, out-patient consultations, ambulance conductions. Under its Institutional Financial Assistance Program (IFAP), it gives Endowment Fund to hospitals, other health care facilities, government and NGOs; medicine and medical supplies and equipment donation programs; regular institutional beneficiaries; ambulance and mobile clinic donation programs through LGUs, qualified hospitals and institutions; and relief and assistance to victims of calamities and national emergencies.

    “We also plan to expand our social services in the future to include rural health unit [RHU] capability, milk feeding program, expansion of institutional partners, accreditation of private hospitals, ambulance distribution, quick response team, endowment fund, and rice calamity fund,” Juico said.

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