The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Sunday said it will conduct a nationwide feeding program on Sept. 13 to celebrate the 65th birthday of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In a statement, the PCSO together with selected Accredited Agent Corporations (AAC) or Small Town Lottery (STL) operators across the country will simultaneously provide sandwiches and drinks to the public under the program “Handog ng PCSO: Isang araw na salu-salo sa kaarawan ng Pangulo.”
The initiative was on top of the PCSO’s commitment to remit PHP2.5 billion to the Bureau of Treasury on PBBM’s birthday as additional funding for the Universal Health Care Program (UHCP).
Last Friday, the PCSO said it will remit PHP1.74 billion to the country’s coffers to help finance the government’s UHCP.
The UHCP provides for the automatic inclusion of every Filipino into the National Health Insurance Program.
PCSO’s financial support to the UHCP accounts for its full net charity fund from the fourth quarter of 2019 until Dec. 31, 2021, amounting to PHP1.74 billion.
It also includes the PHP837 million funds from the first and second quarters of 2022.
PCSO general manager Mel Robles has already signed the check, which he hopes will make PBBM’s “birthday celebration even more substantial.”
“Providing better, affordable, and accessible health services to all Filipinos ranks high in the president’s platform of governance,” Robles said.
Under Republic Act 11223, otherwise known as the Universal Health Care Act, the PCSO is mandated to allocate 40 percent of its charity fund to help subsidize the state insurance program.
Under Joint Circular No. 0001-2022 which provides the guidelines for the implementation of RA 11223, the fund releases of PCSO and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will be used exclusively for benefits improvement under the program.
Thus, not a single centavo of the PCSO contribution will be used by PhilHealth for administrative expenditures.
In his first State of the Nation Address last July, Marcos vowed to strengthen the healthcare system capacity, and impose no more coronavirus lockdowns in the country.
“Beyond the pandemic’s issues, the need for a stronger health care system is self-evident. We must bring medical services to the people and not wait for them to come to our hospitals and healthcare centers,” Marcos said.
The Chief Executive said one of the cornerstones of an efficient healthcare system was the provision of competent and efficient medical professionals.
“We will exert all efforts to improve the welfare of our doctors, nurses, and other medical front-liners,” he said.