How To Avail of PCSO Medical Assistance: An Ultimate Guide

According to the Philippines Health System Review1 in 2018, most Filipinos still pay their medical bills out-of-pocket. When someone in the family becomes sick in the Philippines, the impact on finances is dire.

There are existing health insurance plans in the Philippines, but such plans usually require payment of expensive premiums. PhilHealth helps alleviate some of the financial burdens, but coverage may be limited, especially for medical cases that rack up high bills in the hospital. 

Given these challenges, many of us may suddenly become financially incapable of paying when we or someone we love ends up being admitted to the hospital needing special needs and treatment. Good healthcare in the Philippines can be expensive, and we need options where we can ask for healthcare assistance. 

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) is a Philippine-owned corporation created in 1934 through the Act. No 301 signed by President Manuel L. Quezon

PCSO raises fund collections that are used for health programs, medical assistance, services, and charities of national character. PCSO is under the Office of the President and organizes charity lotteries, sweepstakes, and races to raise funds for programs, including medical assistance. 

Read on if you want to learn more about how you can ask for medical financial assistance from PCSO.

Table of Contents

What Is PCSO Medical Access Program?

The PCSO Individual Medical Access Program (IMAP) is the PCSO flagship program that provides financial assistance to Filipinos with medical problems that need financial help. 

PCSO partners with government and private hospitals, health facilities, medicine retailers, and others. 

Coverage of Medical Assistance

pcso medical assistance 1

The IMAP program covers hospital confinement, chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, dialysis sessions, medications, and other procedures. Specifically, the medical assistance covers the following:

  1. Hospital confinement – this refers to inpatient hospital admissions, both in government and private hospitals. Patients who also have been discharged with a promissory note may also apply for assistance. 
  2. Chemotherapy sessions – for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, both oral and intravenous. 
  3. Radiotherapy sessions – for cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy procedures such as external beam radiation therapy.
  4. Dialysis sessions – for dialysis patients, both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
  5. Surgical supplies – IMAP may provide assistance for some supplies needed during surgery. 
  6. Bone/cochlear implants
  7. Medicines – examples include anti-rabies, antibiotics, psychiatric medications, hemophilia medications, post-operative medications, and intravenous medications.
  8. Medical devices – examples include pacemakers and septal occluders.
  9. Assistive devices – including hearing aids, wheelchairs, and prostheses. It also covers the use of mechanical ventilators or respirators.
  10. Non-invasive/Minimally invasive procedures like endoscopic procedures, laparoscopic surgeries, and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
  11. Transplants (kidney, liver, etc.) – includes transplantation packages for kidney and liver transplants and cadaver (deceased donor) packages.
  12. Cardiology procedures like pacemaker surgery, congenital heart surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, peripheral bypass surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention, and diagnostic procedures like coronary angiogram.
  13. Rehabilitative Therapy – includes physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
  14. Laboratory/Diagnostic procedures

Who Is Eligible for PCSO Medical Assistance?

pcso medical assistance 2

The IMAP program is accessible to all Filipino patients needing financial assistance for medical problems. 

Those who can request are typically the following: 

  1. Individuals currently admitted to the government or private hospitals or discharged with a promissory note acknowledged by the hospital
  2. Individuals with existing conditions (i.e., cancer or kidney dialysis patients) seeking care for outpatient procedures
  3. Individuals needing financial assistance for treatment or health procedure that is not available in the Philippines

PCSO Medical Assistance Requirements

pcso medical assistance 3

The following documents should be submitted to PCSO for financial assistance2. Some additional documents may be asked for, depending on the nature of the request.

For financial assistance requirements for hospitalized patients, the requirements are the following: 

1. Duly Accomplished PCSO IMAP Application Form

You can download the form here

2. Medical Abstract (Original or Certified True Copy)

The attending physician should sign this with indicated diagnosis and license number.

When requesting a Medical Abstract/Clinical Summary, you may go to the Medical Records Section. Do not forget to state that the purpose of the document is for financial assistance requests. 

3. Handwritten Request for Financial Assistance Addressed to PCSO General Manager Alexander Bulutan or PCSO Chairman Simeon Pinili

To help you save time, we’ve created a sample Letter of Request template that you can download for free. This template is available in two languages: English and Filipino. It may be edited depending on the nature of the request and to include additional details on the situation of family and finances and other current limitations of the patient.

To download the sample Request Letter for Financial Assistance, simply click the link below that corresponds to your preferred language

4. Original Copy of Hospital Billing Statement or Statement of Account

This is usually requested from the  Finance/Billing section of the hospital and signed by the Billing Officer/Credit Supervisor. If the patient is in the pay section, it should indicate that the document is for PCSO assistance.  Make sure it is signed by the Billing Officer and includes all other deductions. 

5. Valid ID of Patient and Representative

Examples include government-issued IDs such as Passport, Driver’s License, GSIS eCard, PRC ID, Voter’s ID, PhilHealth ID, and Senior Citizen’s ID. Other IDs that may be accepted are Company ID and Student ID.

6. If Charity/Social Service Patient: Endorsement From the Medical Social Services of the Health Facility

7. If Discharged: Validly Executed Promissory Note Duly Signed by the Hospital Representative or Certification With Remaining Balance From the Hospital

8. If Medico-Legal Case: Copy of the Vehicular/Police Report

How To Apply for PCSO Medical Assistance

1. NCR Patients


Resumption of the PCSO Medical Access Program as of February 1, 2022, is done online through the NCR Online Application System. The steps in applying for PCSO medical assistance are as follows:

  1. Scan all the documentary requirements. Make sure the copies are clear and readable. 
  2. Go to https://www.pcso.gov.ph/, click “E-Services”, select NCR Online Application for Medical Assistance and click “Proceed to Online Application”. You may also go directly here.
  3. Input all the required information and details of the patient.
  4. Upload all necessary documents to the system. The size of documents should not exceed 2MB. 
  5. A notification of the request will be sent to your email within the day.
  6. Once approved, a Guarantee Letter will be sent. Print this together with the MAP application form. 
  7. Submit the Guarantee Letter, the MAP application form, and the complete documentary requirements to the hospital, dialysis center, partner health facility (PHF)/medicine retailer, or diagnostic center. 

Submit your application earlier in the day. The website will accept applications from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM, but a daily budget cut-off is also set for online applications. Once they reach the allowable number of cases, you may apply the next day.

A notification on the status of the request shall be sent within 24 hours of submission of the application and complete requirements.

2. Non-NCR Patients

Patients outside NCR may go directly to PCSO Regional Offices and submit all requirements for the application. Once submitted, a medical evaluator will check your requirements. Once the application is processed,  you will then be scheduled for an interview.

How Much Can I Get From PCSO Medical Assistance?

1. Patient Classification

pcso medical assistance 4

The amount given by PCSO3 varies and will depend on the assessment of PCSO. This will be based on where you are currently admitted. As per their mandate, PCSO prioritizes indigent or marginalized patients. Specifically,

  • Patients admitted to the charity ward of a government hospital are entitled to 100 percent of their medical expenses. 
  • Patients admitted to the pay section of a government hospital are entitled to 90 percent of their medical expenses. 
  • Patients admitted to the charity ward of a private hospital are entitled to 70 percent of their medical expenses. 
  • Patients admitted to a private room in a private hospital are entitled to not more than 60 percent. If the room rate is more than ₱2,200.00, you are not entitled to PCSO assistance.

2. Assistance Given for Specific Conditions

pcso medical assistance 5

The following specific conditions are also covered by PCSO. Also listed below are the additional requirements needed for these conditions:

Name of RequestRequirements Additional Remarks
Hemodialysis1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Original endorsement with an official quotation from the Dialysis Center and hospital

3. Certification of PhilHealth benefits availment from the Dialysis Center and hospital or Certification of PhilHealth exhaustion 

4. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
PCSO accommodates 14 sessions of the 90 sessions covered by PhilHealth.
Dialysis medication: Erythropoietin1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Original prescription of EPO injection with license number and signature of the doctor

3. Original endorsement with official quotation (applicable for Dialysis Center and hospital) 

4. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
PCSO provides 24 syringes of Erythropoietin.
Chemotherapy Drugs1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of oncologist/attending physician

2. An original prescription with license number and signature of the doctor

3. Original or Certified True Copy of the Treatment Protocol with name and license number of oncologist/attending physician

4. Three (3) official quotations from different suppliers if not available from the hospital/dialysis center (if the request for medications)

5. Photocopy of surgical/Histopathology/Biopsy result

6. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
PCSO can cover 50 percent of the total treatment cycle once enrolled.
Specialty Medicines (Hemophilia, Post kidney transplant medicines, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Anti-Lupus, Immunocompromised Diseases (IVIg), Psoriasis, Orphan Diseases Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), Thalassemia and Neuro-psychiatric1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. An original prescription with license number and signature of the doctor

3. Three (3) official quotations from different suppliers if not available from the hospital

4. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
Radiotherapy1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)

3. Three (3) official quotations from different suppliers if not available from the hospital

4. Endorsement/Certificate of Acceptance of PCSO Guarantee Letter 
External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT)
– Cobalt Therapy
– Linear Acceleration
– Tomotherapy
– Intensive Modulation Radiation Therapy (IMRT) 
– Brachytherapy
– Radioactive Iodine (RAI)
– Stereotactic Radiosurgery/Gamma Knife
Surgical Supplies1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)

3. Official quotation with a breakdown of expenses
Implant and Medical Devices1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Letter of Acceptance of PCSO Guarantee Letter

3. Three (3) official quotations from different suppliers

4. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
– Orthopedic implants

– Cochlear implants

– Assistive Devices like wheelchairs; prostheses; rental of ventilators/respirators

– Medical Devices like pacemakers, septal occluder, and percutaneous coronary intervention devices
Laboratory/Diagnostic Procedures1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Letter of Acceptance of PCSO  Guarantee Letter

3. Three (3) official quotations from the hospital/Diagnostic Center

4. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)
Non-Invasive and Minimally Invasive Procedures1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)

3. Letter of Acceptance of PCSO  Guarantee Letter

4. Relevant laboratory result
– Laparoscopic procedures 

– ESWL 

– Endoscopy
Transplant1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)

3. Relevant laboratory result

4. Cross-matching results

5. Certification of patient’s inclusion in transplant program from an authorized representative of NKTI, if applicable

6. Relevant PhilHealth tracking number certification
Includes liver, kidney transplants, and cadaver transplant packages
Rehabilitation therapy1. Original/Certified xerox copy of medical abstract with license number and signature of the doctor

2. Valid ID of the patient (photocopy)

3. Official quotation from the service provider

How To Get in Touch With PCSO (PCSO Medical Assistance Contact Numbers)

1. Regional Offices

PCSO application in NCR is online-based. For those needing access to the PCSO in the provinces, you may directly inquire at the PCSO Help Desk or the Malasakit Center of the hospital. You may also go to the PCSO offices or branches near you.

a. Northern and Central Luzon Offices

NORTHERN AND CENTRAL LUZON MAIN OFFICE

  • Romeo S. Rigodon
  • PCSO Main Office, PICC Secretariat Bldg, CCP Complex, 1307 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.
  • Telephone Number: 846-8896,846-8769

Bataan PCSO Office

  • Telephone Number: (047)791-4612, (047)237-1153

Benguet PCSO Office

  • Ernieli Dancel
  • Telephone Number: (074)422-4462

Bulacan PCSO Office

  • Francis Manalad
  • Telephone Number: (044)796-1395, (044)662-4177

Cagayan PCSO Office

  • Heherson Pambid
  • Telephone Number: 0917-883-1419

Isabela PCSO Office

  • Reynaldo Martin
  • Telephone Number: (078)652-3148

Nueva Ecija PCSO Office

  • Reynaldo Carbonel
  • Telephone Number: (044)486-6066, (044)976-2906

Pampanga PCSO Office

  • Ma. Lourdes Soliman
  • Telephone Number: (045)625-3918

Pangasinan PCSO Office

  • Yamashita Japinan
  • Telephone Number: (075)656-2969

Zambales  PCSO Office

  • Pierre Ferrer
  • Telephone Number: (047)222-0797

b. Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region Offices

SOUTHERN TAGALOG AND BICOL REGION MAIN OFFICE

  • Betsy B. Paruginog
  • PCSO Main Office, PICC Secretariat Bldg, CCP Complex, 1307 Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.
  • Telephone Number: 846-8901, 846-8731

Albay PCSO Office

  • Laila Galang
  • Telephone Number: (052)820-4644

Batangas PCSO Office

  • Leticia Renomeron
  • Telephone Number: (043)702-6728

Camarines Sur PCSO Office

  • Nelly Loyola
  • Telephone Number: (054)472-8937

Cavite PCSO Office

  • Paloma Malinao
  • Telephone Number: (046)4847501 loc. 122

Laguna PCSO Office

  • Flora Obina
  • Telephone Number:  420-8263, (049)545-4070

Quezon PCSO Office

  • Lady Elaine Gatdula
  • Telephone Number: (042)373-5869

Palawan PCSO Office

  • Ronald Batislaong
  • Telephone Number: (048)434-5523, (048)723-3197

Rizal PCSO Office

  • Adonis Curato
  • Telephone Number: 681-9167

c. Visayas Offices

VISAYAS MAIN OFFICE

  • Federico Damole
  • Telephone Number: (032)234-4352, (032)234-4354, (032)234-4359

Bohol PCSO Office

  • Robert Pio Cinco
  • Telephone Number: 038)501-7011

Cebu PCSO Office

  • Glen Jesus Rada
  • Telephone Number: (032)231-7272, (032)234-2896

Iloilo PCSO Office

  • Cedric Recamara
  • Telephone Number: (033)336-3935, (033)337-3636, (033)508-7828

Leyte PCSO Office

  • Telephone Number: (053)325-5120, (053) 321-3023

Negros Occidental PCSO Office

  • Belena Alvarez
  • Telephone Number: (034)435-1883, (034)435-0847

Western Samar PCSO Office

  • Jeanette Oberio
  • Telephone Number: (055)209-1574

d. Mindanao Offices

MINDANAO MAIN OFFICE

  • Mario Pelisco
  • Telephone Number: (082)226-4720, (082)227-5687, (082)221-8579

Agusan Del Norte PCSO Office

  • Misael Hamak
  • Telephone Number: (085)341-1717, (085)342-8110

Davao Del Sur PCSO Office

  • Atty. Ravena Joy Patalinhug
  • Telephone Number: (082)226-4720, (082)227-5687, (082)221-8579 

Misamis PCSO Office

  • Raul Regondola
  • Telephone Number: (082)272-4157

South Cotabato PCSO Office

  • Atty. Elvie Tizon Uy
  • Telephone Number: (083)552-1179, (083)301-2117

Zamboanga Del Sur PCSO Office

  • Gloria Ybanez
  • Telephone Number: (062)991-3314, (062)227-5687, (082)221-8579

2. Official PCSO Communication Channels

For concerns regarding the Individual Medical Access Program, you can address your concerns through the following avenues

a. Charity Assistance Department

  • Atty. Marissa O. Medrano
  • Department Manager
  • Charity Assistance Department
  • Conservatory Building, 605 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City 
  • Telephone Number: (02)8426-3475, (02)8366-3329
  • Email Address: [email protected]

b. Medical Services Department

  • Dr. Jose Bernardo H. Gochoco
  • Department Manager
  • Medical Services Department
  • 2F Conservatory Building, 605 Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City 1552 
  • Telephone Number: (02) 8441-2065
  • Email address: [email protected]

c. Social Media Accounts and Contact Numbers

Tips and Warnings

  • PCSO will not give out the financial assistance in cash. Instead, you will be given a guarantee letter that you will present to the hospital or facility. 
  • PCSO will not cover the full amount of the treatment or hospital bills. It is wise to seek additional help from other government offices or maximize your PhilHealth/HMO coverage. Think of PCSO as an augmentation rather than the only solution. 
  • PCSO does not reimburse payments. You must first apply for assistance and go through the process. 
  • There are a lot of patients asking for assistance from PCSO every day. Because of limited resources, keep in mind that PCSO will prioritize and give larger allotments to indigent and marginalized patients.
  • Expect that a medical evaluator/social worker will evaluate your requirements and will assess how much assistance can be covered depending on your case. To reiterate, this depends on social status, the hospital or facility you are admitted to, and the nature of the request. 
  • For faster transactions, make sure your requirements are complete. Diagnosis must be completely stated with the signature and license number of your attending physician.
  • There is a limit to the number of transactions catered online every day. Prepare all requirements beforehand and submit your application early. 
  • If you are being catered to in the social service program of the hospital you are admitted to, coordinate directly with them regarding PCSO medical assistance for an easier transaction. It is also highly recommended to go straight to the PCSO Help Desk or Malasakit Center available in the institution. 
  • PhilHealth coverage is different from PCSO medical assistance. If you are a PhilHealth member, maximize your coverage as well. 
  • Other financial assistance agencies include the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Office of the President and Vice-President, and the Malasakit Program of the Department of Health. Other options include support from the Local Government and Non-profit Organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is PCSO different from the Malasakit Program?

The Malasakit Program is anchored on the Malasakit Center Act that institutionalizes Malasakit Centers in all hospitals under the Department of Health and Philippine General Hospital.

The Malasakit Center is a one-stop-shop where patients can conveniently access the financial assistance services of PhilHealth, PCSO, and the DSWD. For clarification, the PCSO IMAP can be accessed in the Malasakit Centers. However, PCSO is still under the Office of the President and will have a different process and requirements compared to the assistance provided by other government offices. 

The Malasakit Program aims to improve access of the patients to financial help by allowing them to transact with just one office.

2. Is there PCSO medical coverage for COVID-19 illness?

Yes. In fact, in 2020, the Philippine government through PCSO gave out more than  ₱400 million in health insurance for COVID-19 patients4

3. How long is the processing time after application?

PCSO is now using an online-based system to review applications for NCR. For the online-based applications, you will receive the status of your application within 24 hours if the requirements and information are complete. 

The process may vary from branch to branch for the regional offices. 

4. Is the assistance available for private hospitals?

Yes. The assistance is available to patients admitted to private hospitals. Keep in mind, however, that you are excluded if you are admitted to a room worth ₱2,200. Coverage is also lower compared to admissions in government hospitals. 

5. Is the assistance available for private outpatient procedures?

Financial assistance is available for outpatient procedures that are within the coverage of PCSO like dialysis and chemotherapy. The necessary requirements that are specific to the outpatient procedure are in the article above. See the “Assistance Given for Specific Conditions” section. 

6. If I loaned the money to pay for hospital bills upon discharge, can PCSO reimburse my payment?

No. PCSO will not make any reimbursements for payments done by the patient through loan or credit. You must file an application prior to discharge and wait for approval of your application if you want to be covered. Also, PCSO does not reimburse cash or checks. A guarantee letter is given to patients after approval. 

7. Can I sign a promissory note while waiting for approval of my PCSO medical assistance?

Yes, but you must submit the promissory note as a requirement during your application. Take note that the promissory note must be duly acknowledged by the hospital.

8. How many times can I request medical assistance from PCSO?

A patient can apply again for another request every 30 days.

References

  1. Dayrit, M., Lagrada, L., Picazo, O., Pons, M., & Villaverde, M. (2018). The Philippines Health System Review, 8(2). Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep28462.1?seq=1
  2. Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). (2022). Announcement. Retrieved from https://www.pcso.gov.ph/pcsofiles/infographics/pcsoadvisory/pcsoadvisory2022041201.pdf
  3. Agoncillo, J. (2017). So how much can you expect from PCSO?. Retrieved 17 May 2022, from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/891168/so-how-much-can-you-expect-from-pcso
  4. Caliwan, C. (2020). PCSO releases P3-B for Covid-19 response. Retrieved 17 May 2022, from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1103612

Camille Lamera, MD

Camille Lamera is a medical doctor with clinical and government work experience. She has always been passionate about health education and public service, having worked in two government offices and as a part-time educator in Preventive and Community Medicine. She is currently working as a doctor in public health while also doing freelance academic and scientific writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles: