Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Alexander Balutan announced on Sunday that the agency is on standby to release its calamity fund once assessment has been made by 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,” Balutan said in a radio interview.
During calamities, PCSO assesses first the exact situation in the area in coordination with local government officials, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and regional rescue teams to avoid duplication.
“Every year, PCSO allots P100 million for calamity fund. Earlier, we released funds for the victims of the Mayon Volcano eruption, Typhoon “Vinta” and fire victims. We cannot determine for now the exact amount to be released as it would depend on the assessment in the area,” Balutan said.
For the first semester of 2018, PCSO released P48.4 million in financial assistance to individuals and families affected by natural and man-made calamities.
“We have been coordinating with the Office of the Civil Defense, headed by my classmate, Usec Ricardo Jalad, and yesterday with the Philippine Red Cross through Sec. Richard Gordon on what assistance we can give. PCSO has funds to release after we assess what level, damage, or needs of our calamity victims,” Balutan said.
“PCSO normally gives checks or funding to the local government units and they will be the one to decide on what to do with the funds for their constituents. PCSO does not give per family,” he added.
However, if an 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.