PCSO ready to assist Typhoon Ompong victims

MANILA CITY – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is ready to provide assistance to victims of Typhoon Ompong. This, according to PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan in a radio interview on Sunday.

The agency is on standby to release its calamity fund once assessment has been made by the local government units.

“PCSO is here to help our countrymen who were affected by the super typhoon. Every year, PCSO appropriates calamity fund to assist families affected by natural and man-made calamities, just like other assistance we have released before,” said Balutan.

Every year, PCSO allots P100 million for calamity fund, according to Balutan. However, some of this year’s budget were already given to the victims of Mayon Volcano eruption, Typhoon Vinta and fire victims, therefore, the exact amount left for victims of Typhoon Ompong cannot be determined at the moment.

He explained that aid allocation would depend on the assessment in the area. PCSO branches assess the situation in their area in coordination with local government officials, are Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and regional rescue teams, to avoid duplication.

Balutan stressed that in terms releasing of funds, the agency does not entertain individuals going to PCSO asking for calamity assistance.

“PCSO normally gives cheques or fund to the local government units and they will be the one to decide on what to do with the funds for their constituents. Bahala na ang local government unit na magbigay kung anu mang pangangailangan ibigay dun sa mga biktima ng ating bagyo. Hindi po tayo pipila sa PCSO. It does not give per family,” clarified Balutan.

“’Pag na-assess na at na-consolidate na. kung magkano man ‘yung maibibigay natin, kung P10-P15 million yan ibibigay natin,” he assured.

However, if the individual was injured or hospitalized because of a calamity or disaster, he can go to the nearest hospital and request for medical assistance through PCSO’s Individual Medical Assistance Program or IMAP.

“Ipasok lang ninyo sa hospital at ipapaalam natin sa PCSO may mga branches po kami kung ilan lahat ang na-confine sa hospitals dahil sa kalamidad at tutulong tayo sa pagbabayad ng bill. Kung ang isang individual ay pumunta sa hospital, aming binabayaran ang kanilang bill. Ibabawas lang ang PhilHealth, Senior Citizen’s discount, o medical insurances kung meron,” added Balutan.

IMAP does not cover doctor’s professional fees and room rates, only medical procedures, medicines, or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rates. Requirement includes latest hospital billing to determine how much assistance PCSO can give.

While PCSO branch offices in Northern Luzon are closed on a weekend, the employees were advised to monitor the latest developments.

“Sa awa ng D’yos, wala namang report na napinsala. Sakaling may gustong makipag-ugnayan sa PCSO Branch sa Tuguegarao, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, o dumiretso sa ating website: www.pcso.gov.ph,” said Balutan. (TNM/PCSO)