MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has allocated P193.1-million worth of endowment for at least 86 government hospitals nationwide to finance the healthcare costs of indigent Filipinos needing medical attention.

The PCSO board of directors last week authorized its chair Margarita Juico and general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II to enter into memorandums of agreement with hospitals to immediately accommodate people requiring assistance.  “The more partners we have and the stronger the partnership gets, the better for the indigent Filipinos who need medical and health care,” Rojas said in a statement.  Upon the recommendation of Dr. Larry Cedro, manager of the agency’s fund and allocation department, the PCSO identified 86 government hospitals which it would be partnering with in 2012.  The endowment would be coming from the agency’s charity fund, according to the resolution.

Juico said any hospital-beneficiary in the program could request for additional funds should the initial endowment to their facility dry up within the year.  Hospital officials must submit to the PCSO its midyear accounting on how the funds were spent to be eligible for another tranche of the financial grant, she explained.

Making funds available for the use of government hospitals, particularly in the provinces, was the PCSO’s response to President Aquino’s call to expand healthcare for all Filipinos, Juico pointed out.  Aside from the endowment, the PCSO was in the process of expanding its reach through establishing more extension offices in the provinces so people seeking assistance from the agency need not to fly all the way to Manila to make requests.

Some 24 branches have been identified by the agency and it would be rolling out its offices in the coming months.