Every PCSO ticket you buy helps poor cancer patientsBy Jose Ferdinand Rojas II |Philippine Daily Inquirer
In the public’s perception, the “charity” in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is often overshadowed by the “sweepstakes” part of the agency’s name. Not many people realize that as the PCSO makes millionaires, we help save millions of lives as well.
The PCSO conducts lotteries and other games to generate revenues. Out of every one peso revenue, 55, 30 and 15 centavos go to the prize, charity and operating funds, respectively.
The Prize Fund (55 percent) is used for the payment of game prizes. After one year, unclaimed prizes or balances in the Prize Fund reverts to and becomes part of the Charity Fund.
The Charity Fund (30 percent) is used to finance and support health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character. By law, the PCSO also extends mandatory contributions to certain national programs such as the National Museum, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Philippine Sports Commission.
The Operating Fund (15 percent) supports the day-to-day operating, maintenance and capital expenditures of the PCSO. If there is a balance in the Operating Fund at the end of the fiscal year, it reverts to and becomes part of the Charity Fund.
The PCSO helps qualified cancer patients through its Individual Medical Assistance Program (Imap). The percentage of assistance is based on the patient’s socioeconomic condition. The agency also works with accredited suppliers that provide quality cancer medicines at a cost 20 percent lower than the prevailing market price.
Moreover, the agency provides financial assistance for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, including cobalt therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and brachytherapy.
From January to December 2012, the PCSO provided over P3.2 billion for the treatment of more than 111,000 underprivileged cancer patients. The agency donated almost P1.9 billion to fund the treatment of close to 85,000 needy cancer patients from January to June 2013.
Aside from the Imap, the PCSO is also engaged in various social welfare and development programs. These include the endowment fund program, community outreach program, ambulance donation program, national calamity and disaster program, and hospital renovation and improvement of healthcare facilities.
In addition, the PCSO provides endowment funds to charitable institutions engaged in giving welfare services to the children and youth who are either abandoned or exploited, the elderly, and the physically and mentally handicapped, among others.
Since it was founded in 1934, the PCSO has done its best to fulfill its mandate of providing medical- and healthcare-related assistance to the Filipino people, particularly the disadvantaged and marginalized.
Every sweepstakes or lotto ticket you buy helps the PCSO make a difference in the lives of our less fortunate brothers and sisters. We hope you can partner with us in this meaningful work.
Lawyer Jose Ferdinand Rojas II is the general manager of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The ONCOURAGE Health Information Advocacy promotes public awareness and continuing medical education on the prevention, detection and management of cancer and blood disorders. It is a collaboration between the PCSO, Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists, Philippine Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Philippine Foundation for Breast Care-Kasuso, Touched by Max Philippines, Balikatang Thalassemia and Novartis Oncology Philippines.