PCSO gives medical assistance to over 137,000 Filipinos thru STL funds

MANILA-- The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has provided medical assistance to more than 137,000 Filipinos for the first half of this year through the usage of a portion of revenues from the Small Town Lottery, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said.

Balutan said that the agency has spent PHP2, 842,144,673.84 for the provision of medical assistance to 137,768 beneficiaries nationwide.

The increase of beneficiaries under the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) may be related to the people's increased understanding of the role of Small Town Lottery (STL) in extending help to our countrymen, Balutan said in a statement on Wednesday.

The number of Filipinos receiving medical assistance from PCSO is significantly increasing day by day, and we expect more numbers of patients who will seek assistance from us, he added.

At present, more than 50 of the 56 Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) approved by the board are now operating while another 36 are set to be declared as authorized next month to operate STL.

Balutan said the PCSO will continue to expand the operations of STL to increase revenues from 92 AACs nationwide, which is also an increase from the initial 56 that was launched in January.

The increased STL sales in just 5 months simply shows that the PCSO is already gaining ground in our efforts to increase the government's revenue in order to help more Filipinos in need of medical assistance, Balutan said.

Balutan explained that 30 percent of the sales from STL goes to charity fund of PCSO which shall be used for the various health and charitable programs of the agency, including the IMAP wherein more than 300,000 Filipinos benefited in 2016.

Apart from IMAP assistance, medicine and medical supplies, the agency also has medical and dental missions with 1,768 beneficiaries from April to June 15.

Records showed 2,868 outpatients were also registered as beneficiaries with an amount spent 63,609.48 from the months of April up to June 15.

We are hoping that we can help more Filipinos in need of assistance this year. We are doing anything possible to increase our revenues by promoting our different responsible gaming products to the public, as 30 percent of its sales goes to charitable services of the agency, particularly medical assistance, Balutan said.

Records of PCSO showed that from January to May, the PCSO generated PHP5.018 billion from the expanded STL, an increase of 173.38-percent increase from the PHP2.066 billion in the previous year, out of a total income of PHP20 billion from the sales of its various game products.

The PHP20 billion revenue this year is a 33.21 percent growth of the more than PHP15 billion sales recorded in the same period last year.

Balutan said the PCSO will continue the STL expansion as it envisioned to have STL operations in the 81 provinces and more than 100 chartered cities all over the country.

According to Balutan, PCSO only authorizes one AAC to operate in every province and chartered city across the country.

Balutan said that he is confident that the PCSO can generate up to PHP27-billion this year from STL alone to fund health programs and charitable services as directed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

In 2016, the agency was able to help more than 300,000 indigent patients nationwide who seek medical assistance, an increase of 27.7 percent from 249,751 beneficiaries in 2015.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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