PCSO director clarifies medical assistance hoopla
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Director Atty. Mabel Mamba questioned on Thursday the documents obtained by Rep. Elpidio Barzaga alleging that she, Gen. Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas and other board members approved guarantee letters without passing the normal process.
Mamba clarified that the memorandum obtained by the congressman from the Charity Sector did not contain the names and number of people who got financial assistance from the PCSO.
“The document Rep. Barzaga referred to is a memo by someone from the Charity Sector which Chairman Ayong (Maliksi) asked to prepare. However, I don’t think the document states the number of people helped with that 100 million plus in assistance,” said Mamba.
She also noted that the Charity Sector has always received an excellent rating in the Anti-Red Tape program of the Civil Service.
“The process is thoroughly monitored. Commission on Audit (COA) would have also raised a howl if we personally disbursed that amount,” said Mamba.
In the recent hearing at the House of Representatives, Barzaga claimed that Rojas approved a total P364-million in outright medical assistance grants in 2015.
The document also reportedly indicated that Mamba gave out P156.7 million while another board member Betty Nantes approved P64 million.
Mamba explained that mayors, congressmen and even senators, including Sen. Grace Poe, endorsed patients to her office.
“People come to me for help. Not only those from my home province of Bulacan and from my husband’s home province of Cagayan but from all over the country. Although an endorsement from a member of the Board of Directors is not necessary to be assisted, those that come to my office for help request for one,” she said.
Mamba pointed that even if requests pass her office, it is still the social workers that assess and make the final recommendation and approval and not her.
“Everyone that gets an endorsement from my office go through the regular process of lining up, etc. but we don’t sign anything with respect to medical assistance. We’re not part of the process,” Mamba pointed out.
She added that the P400 million which Barzaga asked them to account for does not even include those they have helped in the different branches nationwide.
” I don’t remember any assistance amounting to P5 million that went to the board in the last few years. When the assistance is P5 to 10M, that’s the only time it goes up to the Board but we decide on it as a collegial body. Beyond 10M, it goes to the Office of the President for approval,” she said.
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