Created under Commonwealth Act No. 4130, enacted on October 30, 1934 and later amended by Republic Act No. 1169 in 1954 and B.P. Blg. 42 on September 24, 1979, the PCSO stands by its 74-year mandate as the fountain of good fortune and charitable deeds for Filipinos everywhere.
Raising funds for charity
As the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character, the PCSO shores up its charity capability through the following revenue sources developed over the years: sweepstakes (1934), lotto (1995), instant sweepstakes 1998, Keno (2006) small-town lottery or STL (2006).
All revenues generated by PCSO are divided into the following: Prize Fund (55%), Charity Fund (30%), and Operating Fund (15%).
The ticket that put food on the table for the likes of 66-year old Manila City Hall vendor Priscilla ‘Manang Ising’ de Guzman has over the years morphed from a game of luck targeting the general population to one periodically dedicated to specific sectors.
Changing times and new technology placed the sweepstakes behind the lotto numbers game, said Atty. Amelia Tansinsin, PCSO OIC-Assistant General Manager for marketing. She adds, however, that the charity agency has learned to devise ways to make the sweepstakes survive through niche marketing.
In 2006, for example, the PNP mounted a successful special sweepstakes draw for law enforcers that generated P12.82M. This enabled the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Legal Services and Enforcement Group (LSEG) to purchase new computers and communication equipment, and law books for their library. Top prize for the special draw was P5 million, while the second and third prizes amounted to P2 million and P1 million, respectively. A portion of the sweepstakes proceeds was likewise given to a model precinct of the PNP. The success of the 2006 PNP special draw encouraged PNP to conduct another special draw in 2007, doubling sales and charity for the institution. This time, the 2nd PNP special draw proceeds enabled PNP to buy other equipments, motorcycles and law books for their library.
Since the beginning of the lotto games in 1995, PCSO was able to give P57.5 billion worth of prizes, producing 1,200 new millionaires, and providing billions of pesos worth of charity to Filipinos in need of medical assistance nationwide.
Lotto revolutionized the PCSO’s revenue generating capacity, said Conrado C. Zabella, Asst. General Manager for Online-Lottery, translating to greater and faster capability to provide funding support for the national government’s vital health programs, as well as improved capability to extend timely medical assistance and services to Filipinos in need.
During its first year of operations, in 1995, under the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos and with PCSO Chairman and General Manager Manuel L. Morato at the helm, lotto generated P2,631,726,320 in gross sales, despite efforts of some sectors to thwart the introduction of lotto. Public acceptance of lotto intensified in the succeeding years, more than doubling lotto’s initial gross sales of more than P2 billion (1995) to more than P5 billion towards the close of the Ramos presidency in 1998. Lotto gross sales registered a slight decline during the Estrada administration, with gross sales moving from P6,644,309,680 (1999) to P6,231,261,160 (2000), under the leaderships of Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma (PCSO Chairman and General Manager, 1998), Rosario N. Lopez (PCSO Chairman and General Manager, 1999-2000), and Ricardo G. Golpeo (PCSO General Manager, 2000) . Lotto regained its upward momentum in 2002 at the start of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Under the aegis of PCSO Chairman Ma. Livia de Leon and PCSO General Manager Virgilio Angelo, gross sales reached P6,922,260,220 in 2001.
Benigno B.Aguas, PCSO Budget and Accounting Department Manager said that it was under the PGMA presidency, with Rosario C. Uriarte as PCSO General Manager (2003-present), that the charity agency realized its highest revenues. Lotto gross sales registered more than P8 billion in 2002, during the time of PCSO Chair Ma. Livia de Leon, and jumped to more than P16 billion (2007) under PCSO Chair Sergio O. Valencia.
Consistent with its mandate to devise revenue-generating schemes that will fund its increasing charity programs and projects, the PCSO introduced the online keno lottery game in 2006. Still in its early phase of implementation, Keno generated modest revenues of 29.8M from March 2006 to December 2007. It is governed by the same allocation mechanism as lotto and sweepstakes.
In 2005, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tasked the PCSO to help in the campaign to stamp out jueteng and to democratize charity at the national and local levels by introducing an alternative – the Small Town Lottery or STL. The PCSO Board of Directors approved a resolution calling for a test run of the S-T-L on December 28, 2005. Resolution No. 464 likewise, effected the approval of the rules and regulations governing the conduct of STL in select pilot areas in Luzon.
The new STL is a democratized form of the grassroots-based lottery and charity first introduced during the time of President Corazon Aquino. Incorporating the lessons learned from the first STL, the new, reinforced STL was launched in mid-February 2006 under a test-run mode. This experimental feature of the new STL gives it the flexibility to institute needed changes during its test-run phase. It is a feature that was absent during the first STL.
By operating under a test-run mode for a period of one (1) year, the PCSO was able to adopt changes needed to make the game effective as a local governments-based charity mechanism for PCSO, even as the new STL provided livelihood for those displaced by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s anti-jueteng campaign.
The PCSO executed contracts with private corporations for the test runs of STL, with the understanding that a contract can be revoked if a corporation violated any of the provisions in its approved contract.
In late March 2006, the National Police Commission, in coordination with PCSO, released guidelines for STL operations to policemen. Under the guidelines, police cannot arrest anybody authorized by the PCSO to operate the STL except if there are complaints from the PCSO, local government officials, religious groups, and non-government organizations. Arrests can also be conducted when operators violate Republic Act 9287 or the anti-illegal gambling act.
Under the STL charity fund sharing scheme, revenues accruing to STL will be divided as follows: city or municipality, 10 percent; provincial government, 5 percent; congressional district, 2.5 percent; and PNP, 5 percent. To effectively decentralize the use of charity funds, the proceeds of STL will directly reach the local government units. It will go to the municipal treasurer’s office. PCSO executed memorandum of agreements (MOAs) with local government units on how to disburse the funds given to them via STL. The remaining 7.5 percent of the charity fund will go to PCSO.
Implementing the STL has allowed PCSO to provide immediate and localized funding assistance for health and developmental projects in various localities.
By end of 2007, PCSO has launched the STL in 15 approved test run areas. These include: Quezon province, Angeles City, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, Pampanga, Laguna, Bulacan, Negros Oriental, Iloilo City, Tarlac, Oriental Mindoro, Ilocos Norte, Albay, Olongapo City, Batangas.
During its first year of operations (2006-2007), STL generated revenues totaling to more than P3B, creating about 62,500 jobs and livelihood for displaced cabos and cobradores, as well as for the organic staff of the agent-corporations.
To date, the PCSO temporarily stopped processing new applications for Small Town Lottery (STL) agency pending a comprehensive review of the project. The PCSO Board of Directors approved a recommendation of its Technical Working Group, which suggested that the agency wrap up first its assessment of the STL dry-run before accepting new applications from gaming proponents.
“The comprehensive review of the STL is being undertaken for the purpose of putting in place all the necessary features to make its operations as transparent, honest and credible as the lotto. PCSO may resume accepting applications after finishing its assessment of STL, depending on overall findings after the evaluation” explained PCSO General Manager Rosario C. Uriarte.
Putting charity first
Helping Filipinos in need of medical and charity assistance is the overarching mandate of PCSO. Throughout its 74-year history, the PCSO has extended some P31.4 billion pesos worth of medical and charity assistance to more than one million individuals and institutions all over the country. It has likewise provided funds, in the form of mandatory contributions, for select laws passed by Congress, as well as executive orders and issuances emanating from the Executive branch of government.
Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP)
Under this program, medical assistance is given to individual patients through the issuance of guarantee letters to hospitals where the patients are confined. A guarantee letter is a certification issued to hospitals for a particular charity patient under the PCSO medical assistance program where the agency assumes the obligation of settling the cost of hospitalization, including medicines, surgical or blood supplies, and diagnostic procedures.
Dr. Elisa Baroque, PCSO Fund Allocation Department manager, reported that the PCSO was able to extend medical support to 184,000 patients in 2007, despite the fact that the agency only had 24 social workers under its Individual Medical Assistance Program or IMAP. Cost of the individual assistance amounted to P1.33B with aid ranging from hospitalization expenses and medicines to kidney transplant, chemotherapy, and hemodialysis, among others.
Endowment Fund Program (EFP)
This program allocates funding assistance to government and private hospitals that have active social service programs for indigent patients in need of medical care, medicines, medical and surgical supplies, and diagnostic procedures for the management and treatment of various illnesses. As of end of 2007, the PCSO has existing endowment funds with 201 hospitals and health institutions all over the country. Funds disbursed to date total P145M.
Local Government Units
By virtue of Executive Orders 357 and 357-A, issued during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, cities and municipalities that have lotto and sweepstakes outlets receive charity fund allocations from PCSO. About 5 percent of the total lotto sales goes to cities and municipalities. Provincial governments likewise receive a share of 2 percent of the total lotto sales.
The city, municipal and provincial charity fund allocation is separate and distinct from LGU requests for PCSO donations of ambulances, medical and hospital equipment, and endowment funds for hospitals and partner charity institutions of PCSO.
As of 2006, five of the top LGUs that received a portion of the PCSO charity fund were located in Metro Manila. These included: Quezon City (P28,044,370.90), Manila (P23,021,495), Paranaque City (P6,700,163), Kaloocan City (P6,273,732), and Mandaluyong City (P5,181,064).
Legislative and Executive branches
A considerable part of PCSO gross revenues goes to the funding of various laws passed by Congress and executive orders emanating from the Office of the President.
For the year 2006, mandatory contributions to fund select laws totaled P1.5B. By end of 2007, mandatory contributions for Congress-enacted laws alone reached P1.4B. This represented 85 percent of all 2007 PCSO funds allocated for mandatory contributions.
The laws and corresponding PCSO 2007 fund disbursements include:
Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002;
Republic Act 8175 or the Philippine Crop Insurance Program;
Republic Act 8313-Upgrading of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center;
Republic Act 9344- Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System Act of 2006;
RA 7835-National Shelter Program;
RA 7722-Funding Assistance to Commission on Higher Education;
RA 8042-Congressional Migrant Workers Scholarship Foundation;
RA 8371-National Commission on Indigenous People;
RA 6847-Philippine Sports Commission;
RA 8492-National Museum Act; and
RA 804-Shared Government Information System on Migration
PCSO funds allocated for funding programs and projects emanating from the Executive branch in 2007. These included:
EO 201-Standby fund for SARS program;
EO 218 –Standby Fund for the operations and programs of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency;
EO 280-Standy Fund for the financial requirements of the Avian Influenza or Bird Flu Viruses; and
EO 447-PhilHealth program
Under the PCSO GMA (Greater Medical Access) program, the PhilHealth is able to offer LGUs 20 to 50 percent discounts on premium rates depending on the city or municipal classification. Per indigent family, the LGU pays 20-50 percent or P240-P600 per year (depending on the classification of the municipality, i.e., 4th, 5th class, etc.) while the balance shouldered by PCSO. The poorer the municipality, the greater is the aid given by PCSO.
Out-Patient Clinic and Medical Missions
PCSO’s Out-Patient Clinic Department renders services from Monday to Friday to thousands of indigent patients at the PCSO Complex in Quezon City. The clinic offers free consultations and is able to perform minor surgeries, ambulance conduction of patients and emergency care. PCSO doctors routinely undertake community outreach projects on maternal and child health and primary health care.
The PCSO’s community outreach programs involve the conduct of free medical ad dental missions in depressed areas within and outside Metro Manila. Under this program, the PCSO gives free consultations and medicines to out patients. In 2006, under the PCSO Walang Kupas campaign, community outreach efforts in the form of medical missions benefited 21,544 individuals in the following provinces: Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Cagayan, Isabela, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.
Providing needed relief for victims of natural and man-made disasters has become a conscious thrust of the PCSO over the last decade.
During the 2006 eruption of Mayon Volcano, the PCSO allocated P100,000-worth of medicines for distribution to evacuation centers in Albay province. Some 9,000 families or about 40,000 people were aided in the effort.
Also in 2006, the PCSO released more than P12 million-worth of medicine and vitamins for families affected by the oil spill in Guimaras province. Some 600,000 tablets of Vitamin B complex for adults and 75,000 bottles of Vitamin B complex for children were provided to about 5,000 affected families.
BOTIKA NG BARANGAY
In partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC), the PCSO provides funding support to the Botika ng Barangay (BNB) program where government sets up drug stores in depressed and isolated areas where no functional drug store is in operation.
Pinoy M.D. is a five-year education scholarship program for Filipino medical students. Its objective is to help sustain the education needs of future medical professionals with the clear understanding that these scholars will stay in the Philippines to practice medicine.
The PCSO provides funding support to the Pinoy M.D. program in partnership with the Department of Health. Financial support is given to 100 scholars selected on an annual basis for a period of 10 years.
The Pinoy M.D. program is a response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s call to arrest the shortage of medical doctors and nurses in the country. It also aims to generate health professionals willing to render much-needed service in the rural areas.
Participating universities in the Pinoy M.D. program include: UP Manila, Mindanao State University, Ateneo de Zamboanga, UP School of Health Science, and UP Western Visayas.
The PCSO Walang Kupas project is a year-long creative campaign that seeks the support of amateur live bands in creatively promoting social values underscoring the charity role and public service vision of PCSO.
The project is geared to reach out and gain the interest, understanding, and support of young people for PCSO’s charity and revenue programs and projects. It likewise promotes the positive values of unity and charity through original Pilipino music by providing a venue where socially-uplifting compositions among young, undiscovered composers and singers that have no access to media institutions can be given media exposure.
Continuing the Charity Advocacy
Under the watch of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, PCSO raised and broadened its charity commitment to the level of advocacy. Said PCSO General Manager Rosario C. Uriarte: “It is not enough that Filipinos patronize lotto, sweepstakes, and other charity games. It is not enough that PCSO manages to help the needy and afflicted. What we have all come to realize, in the course of our work, is that we need to have a mindset for doing charity. We need to understand how charity works to heal a divided nation — not only from the point of view of government, but more importantly, from the point of view of the people. And that includes even officials like me.”
As part of its advocacy thrust, the PCSO has engendered to produce infotainment TV programs that stress on positive Filipino values. With veteran, award-winning director Carlo J. Caparas at the helm, the agency has launched in 2006 Krusada Kontra Krimen (anti-crime/poverty series), Diyos Ko, Mahal mo ba sila? (humane stories on the poor) at Pangarap kong Jackpot (stories of hope concerning lotto winners).
Another component of the PCSO advocacy thrust is the implementation of the PCSO Charity Fund Information System (CFIS), a system designed to fast-track rendering of charity services.
PCSO Chairman Sergio O. Valencia says the CFIS will result in more charity beneficiaries served by the agency. “The CFIS is a computer program that will be used by social workers in the Fund Allocation Department to generate or source on-line information on beneficiaries,” Valencia explained.
PCSO officials look forward to 2008 as a year of faster delivery and greater reach of charity services through prudent cost management and increased public support for PCSO revenue generating programs and projects.
PCSO officials said they look forward to 2008 as another banner year for the charity agency. Already on the pipeline are proposed improvements for lotto and STL, as well as new games to further increase the agency’s revenue generating capability. All these will translate to faster delivery and expansion of PCSO’s myriad charity services.
Truly, Walang Kupas. Charity just refuses to fade in PCSO.