The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office opened its Negros Occidental branch at the Paglaum Sports Complex in Bacolod City yesterday to bring health assistance closer to indigent patients and charitable organizations in the province, PCSO chairman Margarita Juico said yesterday.
Juico also signed a memorandum of agreement yesterday with Fr. John Cardinal for the PCSO to provide annual assistance of P450,000 to the Bacolod Boy’s Home.
The PCSO has also assisted 241 patients in Negros Occidental withP2,466,218.34, and provided a P5-million endowment fund to the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City from January to November 21 this year.
Juico was assisted by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Bacolod Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez in the cutting of the ribbon at the inauguration of the new PCSO office, which will be a temporary site until the agency builds its own building in a property provided by the provincial government in Barangay 49 in Bacolod.
Their new office in Bacolod is part of the PCSO commitment to bring its services closer to the people, Juico said in her speech.
“Where before constituents of Negros Occidental had to travel to Iloilo to submit their requests for assistance, now PCSO is right in the center of Bacolod City,” she said.
Requests for assistance for amounts below P10,000 will be processed completely at the Bacolod branch office, while those above P10,000 will be approved by their head office, she said.
“No matter what the amount requested, PCSO commits to serve its beneficiaries in the fastest manner,” she said.
Lopez facilitated the opening of the PCSO office in Bacolod and Marañon agreed to providing the site.
Juico thanked Marañon for providing the PCSO with rent-free office space, so that they can maximize their resources to help indigents.
“You now bear witness to the fruits of PCSO and the province of Negros Occidental’s mutual desire to serve the marginalized by providing responsive, adequate and timely services,” Juico said.
She said President Benigno Aquino adopted as part of his priority programs a Universal Health Care to benefit poor constituents.
“PCSO participates in ensuring the attainment of this program by fulfilling its two-fold function of generating and providing funds for health, medical welfare programs and charities of national character,” she said.
PCSO generates funds through the conduct of the online lottery games, more popularly known as lotto, and the sale of sweepstakes and STL tickets, she also said.
The PCSO has not granted Loterya ng Bayan permits to operate to anyone yet, as it is waiting for the implementing rules and regulations from Malacañang, which will ensure that a system for validating the sales of operators is in place, she said.
In Negros Occidental, PCSO also provides assistance to the St. Vincent’s Home for the Aged, and endowment funds to the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City.
It has also assisted patients through the Negros Kidney Care System, Bacolod Adventist Medical Center, Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital, Bacolod Doctors Hospital, M3 Dialysis Center and the Bacolod Our Lady of Mercy Specialty Hospital.
Juico said details on how to avail of PCSO assistance for indigent patients are available on their website, along with the forms needed.
She said no “palakasan (influence)” is needed to avail of assistance, patients are evaluated by PCSO social workers according to their illness and status in life.
Any assistance that is given to the rich who can afford would deprive the poor of help, she said.
She said they also provide assistance for pacemakers, prosthesis, hearing aids, wheelchairs, and ambulances.
Delia Locsin of the Holy Infant Orphanage raised their request for help from the PCSO following the discontinuance of their assistance.
Juico said she would look into the matter.*CPG