PCSO suspends lotto draws, games amid Covid-19 threat

By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

March 17, 2020, 6:30 pm

MANILA – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced the temporary suspension of the draws for lotto games and operations of its outlets nationwide in connection with the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

PCSO general manager Royina Garma said agency officials decided to suspend lotto, digit games and Keno nationwide starting 4 p.m. Tuesday while the small-town lottery will also be suspended only in Luzon.

“To ensure health and safety of our employees, agents and patrons as well as the general public, we decided in our board meeting to suspend PCSO operations,” Garma said in a press statement.

She said the STL in Visayas and Mindanao will be monitored every day.

Garma said the operations of PCSO's assistance center at the Lung Center of the Philippines will be suspended starting Wednesday.

“Those in need of medical assistance will be referred to the nearest hospital with Malasakit Center and other government hospitals,” she added.

Those seeking medical assistance may call the PCSO hotline numbers: 09457746439; 09152962243; 09177035866, Landline no. 0284043956 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

She assured the public that the PCSO would play a proactive role in the fight against Covid-19 and would readily provide assistance to local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of community health initiatives.

She said the agency is ready to release PHP424 million to augment the funding for government programs set up to contain the local spread of Covid-19.

Garma also announced the PCSO board approved the release of an additional PHP1-billion fund to give out more medical assistance to those in need, especially in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PCSO serves as the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.

The Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) is considered the flagship program of the PCSO which was institutionalized in 1995 to provide timely and responsive financial assistance to individuals with health-related problems. (PNA)