THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) was created in 1934 as the government institution mandated to provide funds for health programs and other charities to serve the disadvantaged sectors of Philippine society. Among these disadvantaged sectors are the nation’s elderly.
This year the PCSO donated a total of P3.63 million to five institutions providing care for the elderly, or 18.28 percent of the P19.86 million it allotted for its institutional partners.
The five facilities are the Kadiwa sa Pagpapari Foundation based in Cubao, Quezon City, which received P1.8 million; Tahanang Mapagpala ng Immaculada in Bulacan, P162,000; the Santa Ana-San Joaquin Bahay Ampunan in Tanauan, Batangas, P200,000; Golden Acres Home for the Elderly in Tanay, Rizal, P1.2 million; and the Por Cristo Foundation in Butuan City, P270,750.
“We require stringent guidelines to foundations and institutions providing care for the elderly in group homes,” PCSO Vice Chairman and General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said. “Before they are given funding for their operations, they have to submit documentary requirements justifying the amount they are seeking.”
“At the end of the year, they also need to submit documents detailing how the amount PCSO gave them has been disbursed. The Commission on Audit helps us in this,” he said.
If the institution or foundation reapplies for a grant, it has to clear the previous year’s disbursement before it is given additional funding.
The PCSO’s mandate requires it to provide regular quarterly and monthly contributions to charitable institutions engaged in giving welfare services to children and youth who are either abandoned or exploited, the elderly, and the physically and mentally handicapped, among others.
Its programs include endowment fund/quality health-care program, individual medical assistance program, community outreach program, ambulance donation program, national calamity and disaster program, and hospital renovation and improvement of health-care facilities. It also makes mandatory contributions to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter and Urban Development Financing Program, Department of Foreign Affairs, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Philippine Centennial Commission, Philippine Sports Commission and the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC).
Its most visible charities are the ambulances it donates to each municipality and city nationwide; the medical assistance, including surgeries, medicine and hospital care, given to the neediest members of the citizenry, especially children; and checks donated to areas devastated by natural and man-caused calamities, including typhoons, earthquakes and fires.
The PCSO’s funds come from the sweepstakes draws and lotto sales it holds several times a week. Its mandate describes the PCSO as “the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.”
According to its mandate, the PCSO “holds and conducts charity sweepstakes, races and lotteries, and engages in health- and welfare-related investments, projects and activities to provide for permanent and continuing sources of funds for its programs. It also undertakes other activities to enhance and expand such fund-generating operations, as well as strengthen the agency’s fund-management capabilities.”
Rojas is himself hailed as a benevolent administrator who has taken it upon himself to turn over checks and ambulance donations to recipient local government units, as well as individual beneficiaries who apply for medical assistance, including surgeries, medicine, prothetics, hospitalization and other forms of medical assistance.
Among mandatory contributions it has to make annually are: six sweepstakes draws as contribution to the Philippine Sports Commission program Republic Act [RA] 6487; through RA 7722, 1 percent of lotto gross sales to the CHED; RA 7660, documentary stamp tax, 10 percent of the gross sales; RA 7835, 10 percent of Charity Fund to the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter and Urban Development Financing Program (National Shelter Program); RA 8042 (Sections 20 and 77 of the Omnibus Rules) provides for the appropriation of P10 million for the Shared Government Information System on Migration under the Department of Foreign Affairs;
RA 8042 Article IX Section 37, known as the Migrant Workers Act of 1995, P150 million shall be funded from the proceeds of lotto draws taken from the Charity Fund for the Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Fund; RA 8175, 10 percent of net income for the Crop Insurance Program; RA 8313, P100 million from lotto agents for the upgrading of the QMMC; RA 8371, P50-million contribution to the NCIP for the Ancestral Domain Fund; RA 8492, P250 million from the annual net earnings of the lotto for the Museum Endowment Fund;
RA 9165, 10-percent share on forfeited prizes as special account in the general fund of the Dangerous Drugs Board; Executive Order (EO) 201, P1-billion standby fund for the financial requirement for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome awareness and health-promotion campaign; EO 218, P1-billion standby fund for the operations and programs of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency; EO 280, P250-million standby fund for the financial requirements of the avian influenza or bird-flu viruses; and EO 357, 5-percent lotto share of local government units from the Charity Fund.
Image credits: JOSEPH MUEGO