THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), a government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC), said last Sunday that the January sales of its expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) hit P1.87 billion.
According to PCSO General Manager Alexander F. Balutan, the number represents a 103.96-percent increase from the sales of the same month last year.
“Our STL continues to raise more funds to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s free medicines and financial assistance to medical patients in the country amid the vilification campaign being waged in the media by vested-interest individuals to destroy the lottery game, in particular, and PCSO, in general,” Balutan said.
In his speech at a forum on STL in Cebu City on February 11, Balutan said he considered 2017 as “a great year” for the PCSO.
“We have hit a high record in revenue collections, and we aim to do more this year, if not equal it.”
He added that, from P916.5 million, the STL sales increased to P1.87 billion this January, which is more than double the January 2017 sales.
“The increase in the number of operating STL authorized agent Corporations [AACs] and in the Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt primarily contributed to the increased revenue, through the support of our betting public,” Balutan said.
Keno similarly rose by 22.2 percent, from P410 million to P501.2 million, while Lotto (6/42, 6/45, 6/49, 6/55, 6/58, 4-Digit, 6-Digit, 3-Digit and EZ2) was only up by 8.50 percent, from P2.55 billion to P2.77 billion. There was no draw for Sweepstakes for this month.
Marites Jose, division chief of the PCSO Gaming Sector Product Research and Development, explained the lotto games are jackpot-driven sales and these are associated with the jackpot prize.
“The higher the jackpot, the higher the sales,” Jose said.
The PCSO is a GOCC under direct supervision of the Office of the President. The PCSO charter, or Republic Act (RA) 1169, is mandated “to provide and raise funds for health programs, medical assistance and services and charities of national character.” These funds are generated from Lotto, Keno, STL and Sweepstakes.
“We rely on the betting public to raise our revenues by playing more lottery games, especially STL. We don’t get money from people’s taxes [but] through gaming only,” Balutan said. “That is why we are protecting the interest of the betting public. If we lose their trust, we will lose our business. They are the source of our revenue.”
STL is a regular game by PCSO authorized by the national government through Section 1 of RA 1169.
AACs are corporations or cooperatives duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with the Cooperative Development Authority, respectively that applied, been duly qualified and expressly authorized by the PCSO to conduct STL in a particular area.
The PCSO currently has 81 operating AACs. Just recently, the PCSO has terminated two AACs for violations of the STL implementing rules and regulations.
The STL made history by generating P15.7-billion revenue in 2017 (P1.3 billion per month), from a mere P4.7 billion in one year compared to previous administrations.
Out of the P1.12 billion STL shares, the PCSO gave P314.9 million to the Philippine National Police, P78.7 million to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, P472.4 million to cities and municipalities, P103.7 million to Congressional District and P150.3 million to the provinces.
Balutan said in Cebu City the PCSO has increased the daily financial assistance allocations for all the firm’s offices, which process the Individual Medical Assistance Program (Imap) requests.
The daily Imap allocation for the PCSO extension office at the Lung Center of the Philippines made a 100-percent increase, from P4 million to P8 million, he said. Also, the Southern Tagalog and Bicol region posted a 161-percent increase from P1.5 million to P4.05 million, while the daily Imap allocation of the Visayas rose to P3.2 million. Meanwhile, the Northern and Central Luzon indicated a 144-percent increase, whereas in Mindanao also increased its allocation to P1.750 million.
“Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, we have to really increase our revenue collections more,” Balutan said. “We also have to increase the number of regular employees and build a headquarters or corporate center.”