There’s no truth to the rumor that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office at the Lung Center of the Philippines (PCSO-LCP) in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, only processes “120” patient requests per day. The truth is, the PCSO-LCP processes about 400 requests per day. That’s because patients start lining up as early as 1 a.m. despite the fact that the office opens early at 6 a.m.
When I asked the PCSO-LCP management about the alleged “120 quota per day,” they clarified that the 120 requests include those that didn’t make it to the cut-off time. So they prioritize them the following day or when they issue a Guarantee Letter (GL). And that’s how the “rumor” started.
As of this writing, the PCSO-LCP management has already removed the signage to avoid misconception or misinformation.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, I discovered that there are only 10 social workers assigned there—three of them are supervisors and three are computer encoders. Clearly, they are undermanned.
As early as 6 a.m., the social workers at PCSO-LCP are already in “At Your Service” mode. Meanwhile, the supervisors start at 7 a.m. and call it a day at 6 p.m. Each employee has only an hour to eat lunch, do their personal necessities or stretch, and they work six days a week.
Every day, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan signs cheques worth up to P20 million for thousands of patients requesting assistance for their hospitalization, operation, dialysis, chemotherapy, and even for wheelchairs, hearing aids and other medical needs that could be accommodated by the PCSO.
In Metro Manila, patients automatically go to PCSO-LCP for their financial/medical assistance requests. The bulk of requests go to the PCSO-LCP, and one can only imagine the situation of patients waiting in line there.
The PCSO-LCP is still having a hard time managing and accommodating all patients who come to the office, despite the presence of ASAP (At Source Ang Processing) Desks in 61 partner-hospitals (the majority of which are located in Metro Manila).
The full list of ASAP Desks can be viewed at www.pcso.gov.ph, or you can Like the official Facebook page of the Office of the General Manager: “Mandirigma Kawanggawa” or its community page, “Mandirigma sa Kawanggawa” (http://facebook.com/mandirigma83) for more information and updates. If you come from the provinces, you don’t need to go to PCSO-LCP to submit your request, as we have 63 PCSO branches nationwide. The full list of branch offices is also posted at the PCSO web site and social-media pages with complete address, contact numbers and e-mail addresses.
Each PCSO branch has its own daily allocated funds for the Individual Medical Assistance Program, or IMAP, where the financial support in the form of a GL for our countrymen in need comes from every day.
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