Around PHP1 billion unclaimed sweepstakes prizes were forfeited and will be transferred to fund the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Speaking with reporters, PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said the IMAP was given more allocation after the PCSO’s Charity Fund increased due to the forfeiture of the unclaimed prizes.
She said the forfeited prizes were from traditional sweepstakes — lotto, Keno and six-digit games.
“’Yun unclaimed winnings will be forfeited pag hindi nila na-claim after one year, automatic mapupunta sa Charity base sa aming Charter fund kung saan yung allocation for IMAP (The unclaimed winnings are automatically forfeited a year after the winners failed to claim their prizes. This is in accordance with our Charter. All the forfeited prizes immediately go to our Charity Fund, where we get the allocation for IMAP),” Garma told reporters covering the PCSO during a courtesy call in her office in Mandaluyong City.
According to Garma, some bettors just buy lotto tickets for charity purposes.
“Most of our bettors buy lotto tickets because they just want to help. It is because they know that PCSO’s charity program helps a lot of our poor kababayans who do not have money to buy medicines or get confined in hospitals,” she said.
A large chunk of PCSO’s earnings go directly to charity as mandated by law.
She explained that at least 85 percent of agency earnings go to charity as it mandated by law to assist the pubic who in dire need of help.
Garma said the agency increased the allocation for IMAP for November and December with the forfeiture of more or less PHP1 billion worth of unclaimed prizes — including major prizes and consolation prizes or “balik taya” in lotto.
“More Filipinos in dire need of medical help will be aided by PCSO, because of the increase in the Charity Fund,” she said in Filipino.
Garma urged the public to keep on patronizing PCSO products for it will surely help those in need.
IMAP is the flagship project of PCSO that include services such as financial assistance for hospital bills, chemotherapy/radiation and dialysis treatments and other medical services to patients that need immediate financial assistance. (PNA)