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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

YOUNG AMERICAN VARSITY ALL STAR PLAYERS SET TO PLAY IN DZGB’s CHARITY GAME

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Legazpi City (June 13) – Albayano basketball fans should expect a night to remember when a team of young, talented and promising varsity players from Garland High School –Texas, USA seeing action  in a charity event in Legazpi City this month .

Charity Basketball Exhibition Games, a charity fundraiser for the benefit of the social services projects of PBN-DZGB Foundation, Inc. is set on June 30 at the Ibalong Centrum for Recreation, Brgy. Bitano, this city at 4:00 PM as part of the year-long activities for the 60th Founding Anniversary of DZGB-Am – the pioneer and consistent No. 1 Station in the province of Albay.

Garland High School Varsity will be teaming up with DZGB Selection against Mayor’s Cup selection. A match up against the 6-peat champion of the Governor’s Cup  Sto.Domingo Nat’l. High School  RED DRAGONS versus  Congressman’s Cup Selection has been set up for the 2nd game.

Tickets are available at DZGB, DZGB Staff and other partners. Ticket prices are P500 (Ringside)a and P100 pesos (General Admission). (Mar de la Cruz)


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

PCSO CALLS ON LOCAL OFFICIALS AND PNP TO GO AFTER ILLEGAL GAMBLING OPERATORS

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LEGAZPI CITY (May 23) – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) urged the local government chief executives to intensify its campaign against illegal gambling which hamper the revenue generation of the agency on its small town lottery (STL).
               
In an exclusive interview with DZGB News in the program Aramon Niato, retired Marine Maj. Manuel Fraginal Sr. (Executive Assistant VI, Nationwide Inter-Branch Security Monitoring chief, Office of the General Manager-PCSO) disclosed that if the LGU and law enforcement agencies do their job to curtail illegal gambling, the revenue program target of PCSO will be attained and more Filipinos nationwide can be given medical assistance under the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) and other related health programs of the agency.

Fraginal pointed out that Executive Order No. 13 issued by Pres.Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Feb. 2, 2017 directed LGU’s and law enforcement agencies to go after illegal gambling in their area of jurisdiction and file appropriate charges to perpetrators. The PCSO official added that in Bukidnon Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr. stood firm not to allow any form of illegal gambling in his province.

Fraginal also appealed to the Albayanos/Bicolanos to help PCSO in its revenue generation and report to the authorities of any illegal numbers game activity.

In an earlier statement PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said, “We have to face the illegal gambling crisis, and double our efforts in the conduct of operations against illegal gambling to arrest syndicates, particularly those who are using STL as a front to cover their illegal business.” (Mar de la Cruz)

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PCSO BANKROLLS "SAGIP MATA, SAGIP BUHAY"

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‘SAGIP MATA, SAGIP BUHAY’     PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan (rightmost), PCSO Chairman Anselmo Simeon Pinili (second to the right) and Director Atty. Bong Suntay (second from the left) formally sign the memorandum of agreement for eye mobile clinics for the Province of Isabela with Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (third from the right) and Isabela Vice Governor Antonio Albano (third from the left) and 1-PACMAN Party List Rep. Enrico Pineda (leftmost)


LEGAZPI CITY (May 16) - The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has bankrolled the “Sagip Mata, Sagip Buhay” project of the Department of Health (DOH) and the provincial government of Isabela through mobile eye clinics.

The project was formalized through the signing Friday last week of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at PCSO that was led by Chairman Anselmo Simeon Pinili, General Manager Alexander Balutan and Director Bong Suntay; DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III; and Isabela Vice Governor Antonio Albano who represented Gov. Faustino Dy III, Isabela 1st District Representative Rodito Albano III, 1-PACMAN Party List Rep. Enrico Pineda, and Isabela 3rd District Rep. Napoleon Dy.

Balutan said the project provides free diagnostic and refraction services as well as free eyeglasses to the less privileged among Isabela’s local constituency who have no access to and cannot afford these services, specifically those who are elderly, women, and children suffering visual problems or impairments.

He said the charity agency will provide the funds to finance the cost of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures involving diseases of the eye (i.e. glaucoma, cataract, etc.). subject to the guidelines for the implementation of PCSO’s Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) and compliance by concerned patients of the documentary and other requirements required under the IMAP.

“PCSO welcomes this new development in the provision of eye care services to our less fortunate members of the community in the Province of Isabela. I would like to commend the efforts of the local government of Isabela for coming out with this program. Rest assured of our commitment under this agreement subject to the PCSO guidelines on IMAP (Individual Medical Assistance Program),” Balutan said.

The PCSO Charter, or Republic Act (RA) No. 1169, mandates the agency “to provide and raise funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character, and these funds are generated from Lotto, Keno, Digit Games, Small Town Lottery (STL), and Sweepstakes.

As of First Quarter 2018, PCSO already had 120,356 beneficiaries, a 34.09-percent increase from the same period last year. It also released P2.4 billion IMAP assistance, a 39.96-percent increase from the same period last year.

“May this program be an example to all local government units so that no Filipino will live a difficult life because of eye problem. Let us work together to help President Rodrigo Duterte deliver his healthcare coverage program to the Filipino people across the country,” Balutan said.

Duque, for his part, was elated with the partnership with PCSO in this particular project.

“This project will serve as an inspiration and as a model for all other LGUs to emulate. I think this is a worthy program and we hope to institutionalize this. I hope it is not just good for certain seasons or time of the year, but this has to be consistently provided to the poor people of the province of Isabela,” he said.

Duque noted that DOH has a manifold of programs that it wishes to pursue, but it cannot do it alone. It has to be in complementation with the various LGUs in general, and in particular, the province of Isabela.

“I am confident to let you know that this significant public health program and intervention of the DOH will go a long way, especially to the people of the province of Isabela,” Duque said.

Under the MOA, Isabela, through its Provincial Health Office, and the DOH regional office, shall, together will be in-charge with the conduct of mobile eye clinics, target beneficiaries, schedules, coordinate the production and conduct of free eyeglasses distribution, among many others.

Albano said the mobile eye clinic will benefit thousands of Isabelinos.

“These types of programs are the ones we really need in our province. We are the largest province in Region 2 and the second largest province in the Philippines next to Palawan that has the largest land area. We are very much dynamic and growing province that’s why this program will truly help us see the light – kasi nga mga eyewear ang ipamimigay natin sa ating mga mahihirap at tumatanda,” Albano said.

“In behalf of Isabela government, napakalaking tulong po ito ng PCSO sa amin. Napakaganda ng programa n’yo. Rest assured, we will always support all the efforts [of PCSO],” Albano added. (PCSO)

THE HEART OF A CHARITY WORKER

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  Vangie (in checkered long sleeves) interviews patients who come to the office of PCSO General 
      Manager Alexander Balutan seeking for financial assistance for their hospitalization. 

LEGAZPI CITY (May 16) - Evangeline “Vangie” Villegas, a staff who does the social worker routine at the office of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan, understood the plight of patients who are coming over to seek financial or medical assistance.

Vangie is a single mother who struggled to support four children, including a child who had a heart illness.

She would always encounter angry patients during interviews but she has learned the art of handling them well. To calm the patients, Vangie patiently encourages them to settle down and that she is ready to listen to them until they will be able to tell their stories.

“May mga pasyente ditong naninigaw, nagwawala. Minsan ang lakas ng boses rinig na rinig sa buong opisina. ‘Yun ang pinaka-ayoko sa lahat. Napapahiya talaga kami. Sinabi ko, ‘Sir kalma po kasi andito po tayo sa opisina’,” Vangie said.

In a day, Vangie interviews an average of 40 to 50 patients a day.

“Some of them were from provinces, complaining the slow processing of their requests or would follow up their previous requests,” she said.

For the first quarter of 2018, PCSO has catered to 120,356 beneficiaries of Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) and has already released P2.35 billion IMAP assistance, a 39.96 percent increase from the same period last year.

A 55-year-old native of Davao City, Vangie used to work as an airport supervisor in a concessionaire in one of the airline companies, but her salary was not enough to support her children, including her sick child who needed three vials a day for his treatment that time.

“Isang vial P5,900 ang presyo, three vials a day ang kailangan n’ya. Nung time na ‘yun naghahanap ako ng malalapitan, doon ako humingi ng tulong kay [then] Mayor Duterte, mayor pa s’ya ng Davao noon. ‘Di ko pa alam ‘yung PCSO noon. S’ya yung tumulong sa anak ko,” recalled Vangie, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte who gave assistance enough to buy six vials.

Sadly, after six vials, her son eventually died of heart enlargement at the age of 14 in 2006 after more than a year of struggle.

But Vangie’s misfortunes didn’t end with her son’s death. In 2014, their house was caught on fire. She was devastated that she decided to visit her relatives in Manila and took that as an opportunity to start over again with her kids.

With the encouragement of friend, Vangie, who has a degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in Accounting, decided to apply in PCSO and there she was immediately hired as a clerk.

As a newcomer in the agency, Vangie learned the ropes by herself as no one was willing to teach her that time. She started by assisting social workers who were assessing patients, prepared transmittals, answered e-mails, and handled phone calls.

“Wala akong ka-alam-alam. Ang ginawa ko, nag-volunteer ako. Sabi ko, ‘Sir tulungan ko kayo.’ Ako ‘yung nagsusulat sa form ng pasyente. Nag-po-photocopy ako ng copies n’un, pinag-aralan kong mabuti, nakikinig ako kapag may interviews, tingin-tingin lang hanggang sa na-memorize ko na,” shared Vangie.

When then PCSO Chairman Jorge Corpuz and General Manager Alexander Balutan took over the agency, some of the experienced social workers under the previous administration resigned. No one was left behind that Vangie decided to step forward and started entertaining patients who are seeking financial assistance in the agency and the rest is history. 

Vangie’s tips

While Vangie understood the plight of very patient as she once sought financial help for her son in the past, she advised patients to submit complete requirements to avoid processing delays or to prevent them from going back and forth to the agency.

“Minsan walang endorsement from the hospital, okay na daw ‘yun. Hindi puwedeng verbal, kailangan documentary para makita ng Commission of Audit (COA) na tumatanggap talaga ang hospital [ng guarantee letter], para meron din silang ebidensya. Paano kung na-process na ‘yung papers, napagod na kayo, gumastos na kayo tapos pagbigay ng GL ayaw tanggapin kasi wala silang pruweba?” said Vangie.
Upon submission of documentary requirements, the social worker will review the completeness of the documents and will be evaluated and assessed depending on its case and classification.

Requests for hospitalization expenses needs a personal letter to PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, original/certified true copy of medical abstract, signed by the doctor with license and PTR number, final hospital billing, endorsement from the hospital to accept PCSO guarantee letter, and photocopies of patient’s ID and immediate relative who will process the documents.

If a patient is discharged from the hospital and still have a remaining balance, a notarized promissory note is needed. Additional documents will be required for laboratory procedures, requests for chemo drugs or medicines, implant/prosthesis, and hemodialysis.

Vangie assures that PCSO chooses no one whether rich or poor, as long as you are Filipino, but her heart goes out more to indigent patients considering what she’d been through in life.

“Minsan ‘yung pasyente pabalik-balik sa PGH (Philippine General Hospital), kulang ang pera for laboratory exams or pamasahe. Minsan inaabonohan namin para ‘di na s’ya pabalik-balik, minsan nagbibigay kami lalo na kapag maliit na amount lang tapos kita naman namin na hirap na hirap ‘yung pasyente,” revealed Vangie.

“Makikita mo naman sa pasyente. Maluha-luha s’ya, mararamdaman mo naman kung totoo ang sinasabi o hindi,” she added.

But if there is one thing that Vangie learned over the years that she still applies up to now, that’s the virtue of patience.

“Bago umalis, we make sure na nakuha nila ang instruction. T’yaga talaga. ‘Wag kang magpadala sa galit nila. Many times, galit sila. Intindihin mo ‘yung nararamdaman nila na tulad mo rin noon, nangailangan ka rin. Kung may pera lang ako n’on, kung may kaya lang sana ako noon, ‘di sana namatay ang anak ko. Masakit mawalan ng anak, malambing pa naman ‘yun. Sana 25 years old na sana s’ya ngayon,” Vangie fondly remembered. (PCSO)

Friday, May 4, 2018

PCSO CLARIFIES ISSUES ON AMBULANCE DONATION PROGRAM

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LEGAZPI CITY (May 4) - Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) through its Charity Assistance Department clarified that it does not provide repairs and gas allocation for ambulances donated to local government units and other institutional partners. But if there are violations to the use of the donated vehicles, this should be reported immediately to the PCSO for appropriate action.

This was disclosed by Dr. Larry Cedro, Asst. General Manager for Charity Sector to reporters in a press conference on April 28 held at the Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas. “Part of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between PCSO and the local government unit is this, once the deed of donation was signed, the responsibility of ambulance use and maintenance automatically goes to the beneficiaries,” Dr. Cedro said.

One of the complaints that came out was that some donated PCSO ambulances are being used by government officials for personal purposes. And most of the times during emergency situations, patients shoulder the gasoline expenses which should not be the case.

Cedro clarified that under the MOA beneficiaries are responsible in making sure that the vehicle is in top condition and that the vehicle is readily available for use by their constituents.

“Before we donate ambulances, we look at the capacity of a local government unit or beneficiaries regarding their MOOE (Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses). Do they have provisions for gas and maintenance?” Cedro said.

He said beneficiaries of the ambulance program were also well informed of PCSO’s monitoring system and it has already received reports from concerned individuals regarding ambulance misuse. Once the agency has established that there is a violation on the use of vehicle, it can readily be forfeited.

“If you know any vehicles that are misused, please report to us. We have our own monitoring system to validate that claim. It’s easy for us to say those things, but we need to substantiate everything. We need facts and documents,” he said.

He further revealed that the agency has already attended to some cases with violations and forfeited the vehicles.

Remeliza Gabuyo, AGM for Branch Operations, revealed that PCSO has already pulled out some ambulances for misuse and violations of the MOA.

At present, PCSO has a new program for ambulance donation and it is shifting its priority from ordinary ambulance to an advanced life support.
  
The agency now adheres to the new Department of Health (DOH) circular shifting from ambulance to patient-transport vehicle. DOH has also issued a new administrative order to regulate the use and registration of vehicles as an ambulance.

“DOH has observed that both the PCSO as a national government agency and the local government units purchase ambulances left and right and yet the dilemma remains the same [misuse, unauthorized used, no gas, etc),” Cedro said.

He reiterated for the public to report claims of unauthorized use or misuse of ambulances.

“They may post photos on social media. PCSO committee or monitoring group will make sure to validate those evidences and/or claims and act on it accordingly,” he said.

For First, Second, and Third-class municipalities, PCSO gives a 60-40 scheme where the agency shoulders the 60 percent and the LGUs cover the 40 percent. But for Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth-class municipalities, ambulances are given for free on the condition that they can maintain them.

“PCSO does not give allocation for gas and repairs. It is incumbent upon the beneficiary to assume that requirement in so far as maintenance is concerned,” Cedro said.

 “We do not have to remind them [local government officials] every now and then how to maintain it because prior to the turnover, the MOA already contains the briefer, rules and regulations being imposed by the agency regarding its utilization,” he added. (PCSO/GM Alexander Balutan)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

COMELEC BICOL HOPES FOR PEACEFUL AND ORDERLY BARANGAY AND SK ELECTIONS

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 LEGAZPI CITY (May 3) – A day before  the start of the 10-day campaign period for the synchronized Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, Commission on Elections (Comelec)–Bicol remind aspiring barangay and SK officials to comply with the rules set by Comelec.

In an exclusive interview with DZGB News Comelec-Bicol Regional Dir. Atty. Jane Valesa said that the rules on campaign ads and materials are contained in Comelec Resolution 10294, in line with Republic Act 9006 or the Fair  Elections Act.

The common rules states that candidates  can only spend P5 per registered voter in his or her barangay. Lawful election propaganda include:
·        Pamphlets, leaflets, cards, decals, stickers, or other written/printed materials not exceeding 8 1/2 inches in width and 14 inches in length, or the size of a legal-sized bond paper; 
·        Handwritten or printed letters urging voters to vote for or against any candidate; Posters made of cloth, paper, cardboard, or any other material – whether framed or posted – with a size not exceeding 2 feet by 3 feet; 
·        Streamers for public meetings or rallies with a maximum size of 3 feet by 8 feet, which may be displayed 5 days before such meeting/rally and must be removed within 24 hours afterwards; 
·        Mobile units or vehicle motorcades of all types, with or without sound system, and with or without lights
·        Paid advertisements in print or broadcast media

All election propaganda, wether printed, broadcast or published must:

·        Identify the candidate whom the ad is for (with the words "Political advertisement paid for" followed by the candidate's name and address)
·        Identify the one who paid for these ads (with the words "Political advertisement paid by" followed by the payor's name and address)

These materials can only be posted in common poster areas authorized by the Comelec or in public places as defined by the poll body. It may also be placed in private properties, but with the consent of property owners.

Lawful election propaganda, except for banners and streamers, may also be displayed in the candidates' residences.

Comelec encourages candidates to use recyclable and environment-friendly materials. As such, the poll body requires candidates to indicate in their materials the phrase, "This material should be recycled."

Dir. Valesa appealed to the candidates and Bicolano electorates to go out and vote and have a peaceful and orderly elections on May 14, 2018. The voting start at 7:00AM-3:00PM. (Mar de la Cruz)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

PCSO ENFORCES TRANSPARENCY TO CURB CORRUPTION

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LEGAZPI CITY (Apr 25) - In its campaign to gain people’s trust and confidence and end corruption, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Gen. Manager Alexander Balutan sees to it that the agency is transparent in all its sales and accomplishments.

In his statement during the program orientation and coordination conference for PCSO’s I-Hope Program on April 18 in Sultan Kudarat Balutan disclosed that “
“Gusto kong makita ninyo kung ano ang kinikita ng PCSO, kung saan niya ginagastos, anong proyekto, ilan ang beneficiaries na natulungan niya, at ‘yung mga ambulansya na nai-distribute. Sabi ko nga, kung ganito lahat ng ahensya, mababawasan ang corruption dito sa Pilipinas.”

The I-Hope (Integrate Health for Overall Productivity and Empowerment) program was conceived in an effort to achieve Strategic Measure under the Performance Agreement Negotiation (PAN) with the Governance Commission for GOCCs Strategic (GCG).

The program aims to implement responsible and efficient fund provision for health and charitable programs of the government and to provide access to charity services identified by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

Last year, Maguindanao, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Saranggani provinces became beneficiaries of this program. This year, PCSO has identified Sultan Kudarat, Biliran, Basilan, and Tawi-tawi to receive P50 million each for the equipment upgrade.

 “I see to it that every quarter, I report to the Filipino people kung ano ‘yung kinikita ng PCSO. So that our gaming public, especially ‘yung sineserbisyuhan natin magkaroon ng tiwala, ng confidence sa ating gobyerno, kasi ngayon, walang ng dilawan, wala ng kulay. Mapa-puti, mapa-itim ka diyan, blue, ano mang kulay diyan, seserbisyuhan natin,” Balutan said.

According to Balutan, he signs cheques every day for more or less P22 million intended for the poor and indigent patients who are requesting for financial/medical support.

Requests vary from hospitalization, chemotherapy, dialysis, implant/transplant, to any medical services, except room, rent, and doctors’ professional fees.

“Kung meron kang PhilHealth, unahin muna ‘yun. Kung meron kang medical insurance or Senior Citizen’s discount ka, ibabawas muna doon,” explained Balutan.

To relive the patients from personal appearance in PCSO Main Office in Mandaluyong City or its extension office at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City, Balutan advised patients to go directly to PCSO ASAP Desks located in partner-hospitals nationwide.

“May desk ang PCSO diyan kung saan doon ipo-proseso ang inyong application. Ang hinihingi lang, medical abstract, letter of request, and latest hospital bill,” said Balutan.
  
Aside from ASAP Desks, patients can also go to PCSO branches located nationwide.
“’Yung mga branches natin sa PCSO, may mga pondo ‘yan. General Santos City, for example, has a P350,000 per day, P50,000 of that is for Sultan Kudarat. Inuubos ‘yan araw-araw,” said Balutan.

Balutan revealed that Davao del Sur, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija have P800,000 budget per a day, but it can be increased depending on the number of patients, especially poor and indigents who have really no means to pay.

“In PCSO, we generate our own funds and not appropriated by Congress. All our generated funds come from the gaming public. We have our products such as Lotto, Sweepstakes, and STL,” said Balutan.

He also reminded the local government units to support PCSO products, especially STL, in line with the directive (Executive Order No. 13) of the President to curb illegal gambling nationwide.

Before assumption of office as general manager in 2016, Balutan said there are only 50 PCSO branches and 18 Small Town Lottery (STL) players nationwide. At present, there are 63 PCSO branches, 87 partner-hospitals through the At-Source-Ang-Processing (ASAP) Desks, and 84 STL players. (PCSO)