Royina M. Garma, General Manager (GM) of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), said that the agency allotted PhP420 Million for the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) response as early as February of this year as its proactive measure to aid the government in its fight against this pandemic.
GM Garma added that considering PCSO is the principal government agency for raising funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character, the agency will always be ready to help the government and the Filipino people in times of crisis.
On March 25, the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID), in compliance with Executive Order No. 108 s. 2020 signed by President Duterte, directed PCSO to transfer the PhP420 million to PhilHealth to augment the fund requirements of government concerning COVID-19.
"The agency anticipated the need for emergency response and readied the funds since COVID-19 became a serious threat globally early this year, and the first case in the country was reported," GM Garma expressed in a press statement.
Despite the suspension of operations in its main office and other offices in Luzon, PCSO assured the public that the agency will continue serving its clients. PCSO has set up a hotline that caters to people seeking medical assistance. The public can contact the following numbers:
Mobile Numbers: 09457746439, 09152962243, and 09177035866
PCSO official and verified social media page @Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office
Individuals seeking medical assistance will be referred to hospitals with Malasakit Centers and other government hospitals.
The agency also increased daily funding until April 16, 2020 to the Lung Center of the Philippines at PhP1 million, Philippine Children’s Medical Center at PhP400,000, Philippine Heart Center at PhP500,000, Philippine General Hospital at PhP1.5 million, Rizal Medical Center at PhP400,000, and Taguig Pateros District Hospital at PhP400,000 to further strengthen charity and social works amid the threat of the coronavirus.
PCSO provided free bus rides in Area 7 of Metro Manila, utilizing its shuttle buses to transport those who were affected by the public transportation suspension.
As a sign of support to police who are securing the National Capital Region (NCR) borders 24/7, the agency also distributed food packs to the NCR Police Office (NCRPO) and Eastern Police District (EPD).
GM Garma called on all Filipinos to follow the orders and guidelines issued by the IATF saying, “Everyone can help stop the spread of COVID-19 virus by staying at home.”