10, 2013

NR # 3222

PCSO charity fund to finance PhilHealth contribution
A lawmaker today said the unclaimed prizes and the charity fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) should be used as contribution to PhilHealth, forming part of special purpose fund as counterpart shares of the National Government and Local Government. Rep. Anthony del Rosario (1st District, Davao Del Norte) filed House Bill 72, which provides that the charity fund shall no longer be channeled through hospital beneficiaries. “While making health care more accessible to the indigents through PhilHealth, the bill ensures transparency in the utilization of the monetary resources and provides necessary safeguards against corruption specifically in the PCSO,” Del Rosario said. In pushing for the bill, Del Rosario cited reports of alleged misuse of the charity fund by the PCSO Board of Directors who have discretionary powers on the disbursement of said fund. “The PCSO does not provide clear institutionalized criteria on the disposition of funds, making it more prone to abuse,” Del Rosario said. Under the bill, 35 percent of the charity fund of the PCSO shall be set aside as contribution to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) for the exclusive purpose of universal health care coverage. The PCSO, the PhilHealth and the Department of Budget Management shall provide the necessary rules and regulations for the proper disposition of the funds and effective implementation of the proposed act. The PCSO was created by virtue of Act 4130 in 1935 to institutionalize sweepstakes as a venture to raise funds for public health and general welfare. The PCSO charter was amended by Republic Act 1169 in 1954. Presidential Decree 1157 increases the tax rates on winnings in jai alai and horseracing and the share of the government from the sweepstakes total prize fund. (30) jc

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