For the information of all, especially the patients who wish to avail themselves of the financial assistance for their hospitalization bills from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), such bills are not included in the agency’s mandate to pay the bills paid by the patient for their hospitalization or reimbursement, and the doctor’s fee.
Also, the room-accommodation expenses of the patient, such as the executive suite, are not in the PCSO mandate. Only the well-to-do can afford these rooms.
If the patients avail themselves of a private room, it is not covered by the financial assistance from PCSO.
However, there are cases when less-fortunate patients and the indigents from the intensive care unit (ICU) who leave the hospital bearing tubes, oxygen and the like in order to aid their survival. Their doctors may also require them to stay in a private room, especially if it is to prevent the spread of the contagious disease. These patients could not be placed in the charity ward as mandated by the PCSO to avoid the costly bills of availing themselves a private room.
In the guidelines of PCSO as a government agency for charity, whether you are rich or poor, you may avail yourself of the Individual Medical Assistance Program (Imap) if you are in need of financial assistance.
However, there is a category that must be observed, from A (the well-to-do individuals) to F (the impoverished).
In simpler terms, the assistance given by PCSO depends on the financial capacity of the patient or the relative of the patient. If the patient belongs to category F, they may receive 70-percent to 100-percent financial assistance.
In addition, PCSO does not give its assistance in cash but in the form of a guarantee letter (GL).
Before one may acquire a GL, a patient must submit their medical abstract, a handwritten request for financial assistance addressed to PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, or to PCSO Chairman Anselmo Simeon Pinili, and the final hospital bill before discharge from the said hospital.
The GL only has a two-month effectivity.
The PCSO has 63 branch offices in the country. The list of branch offices may be viewed on the agency’s official social-media page Mandirigma Kawanggawa (Facebook) and Mandirigma sa Kawanggawa (https://facebook.com/mandirigma83), a Facebook community page. They may also be viewed on the agency’s official web site, www.pcso.gov.ph.
Every branch has a daily fund allocation for Imap. Usually, the mandate allows to give only P50,000 for the hospitalization bills of patients who are in great need. If the amount exceeds the amount, the request is forwarded to the Office of the General Manager for augmentation of the assistance.
If the amount reaches P1 million and above, it shall require the decision of the board.
Although the PCSO funds do not come from the General Appropriations Act of Congress or the people’s taxes—but from the gaming public who patronize the agency’s lottery games, such as Lotto, Keno, Digit Games, Sweepstakes and Small Town Lottery—the agency’s fund may still be considered a public fund.
If one seeks financial assistance from agency, the presentation of legal documents will be required. PCSO does not leniently provide financial assistance to anyone who are sick and in need of help.