MANILA – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said Friday its draws for Lotto games will continue and operations of its outlets nationwide will remain open amid the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
However, PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said witnesses and observers in the nightly live Lotto draws will be limited while Metro Manila is under community quarantine.
“We will be in full operations but will observe strict safety practices to ensure the health of our office and field staff. We have set in place precautionary steps so we can continue operating with the least risk of exposure to the virus,” Garma said in a statement.
She assured the public that the PCSO would play a proactive role in the fight against Covid-19 and would readily provide assistance to local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of community health initiatives.
“We will be proactive in helping LGUs to fight the virus. If you are looking for ways to help our people, please continue to support our Lotto operations,” Garma said.
She said the agency is ready to release PHP424 million to augment the funding for government programs set up to contain the local spread of Covid-19.
The PCSO Board of Directors has authorized the release of the amount to be taken from its standby health emergency fund, which was set up to meet the national government’s financial requirements at the height of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in the 2000s.
“This is where your contributions go. Every bet can help others in need, especially at this time when transmission and infection are rising at alarming levels,” Garma said, adding that the PCSO is just awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte to tap the SARS fund to help contain the Covid-19 contagion. (PNA)