The Aquino administration lost one of its rare treasures—a noble and honest person, a model civil servant for competence and hard work and one of the few living personages who actually worked day in and day out with the late President Cory Aquino of sainted memory.
Her resignation from the Aquino administration is another black mark on the continually darkening escutcheon of the Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino presidency.
For, despite the denials of Malacañang’s and the Liberal Party’s propaganda spinmasters, the post of chairperson of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will soon go to someone who will make the massive funds of that agency go to those who will use it to buy support and votes for the Liberal Party’s and President Aquino’s candidate for president in the 2016 elections.
Mrs. Juico will be identified by historians as the chair of the PCSO who turned it into a government office that should be emulated by the rest of the bureaucracy.
During her term at the PCSO, Marge Juico brought it closer to the people. She opened satellite clinics in the Lung Center of the Philippines and in the provinces. She undertook several reform programs that saved the Charity organization hundreds of millions of pesos.
One of these reforms was the cancellation of the paper supply contract for the Lotto that was grossly disadvantageous to the government.
Here is a limited list of what the PCSO under Mrs. Juico’s leadership 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 PCSO branches in 2012 and 2013.
• Obtaining an “excellent” ARTA rating from the Civil Service Commission for front-line services to patients at the Fund Allocation and Charity Clinic departments.
• Donations of cash assistance and advanced and upgraded medical equipment to military and LGU hospitals/clinics.
• The Liver Transplant Project with The Medical City that provides for reduced cost of liver transplant.
• Satellite clinics to reach more patients.
• The rehabilitation of rural health centers in 5th-and 6th-class municipalities.
• A 25.65 percent increase in the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) that highlights the agency’s performance outputs for the third quarter of 2013. PCSO has 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.
From 222,089 IMAP beneficiaries in 2011, the individuals assisted by PCSO in 2012 numbered 276,512.
• The PCSO also established in 2012 the Disaster and Calamity Rapid Response Committee, PCSO Milk Feeding Programs, Rural Primary Healthcare Capability -Building Projects (BR No. 306, series of 2012), and Family Emergency Medicine (FEM) Kits.
• The agency’s sales for the period of January to June 2013 with revenues from Lotto, Digit Games, and STL amounted to P18 billion. This excludes sales of Scratch-It and BingoMilyonaryo.
• PCSO released P4.84 billion in Charity Fund from January to June 2013 for Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) requests for hospitalization, dialysis, and chemotherapy.
While more and more observers, here in the Philippines as well as abroad, have seen that President Aquino’s slogan of “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap” [Where no one is corrupt, no one will be poor”) and his supposed moral goal of “Tuwid na Daan” [The righteous path] are just Goebbelsian mantras, many have also seen that the PCSO is one government institution which, under Mrs. Juico, has truly kept faith with Tuwid na Daan.