MANILA, July 19 — The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has generated PHP24 billion from its different gaming products like small town lottery (STL), lotto, keno and others in a first semester of 2017 which benefited of more than 184,000 Filipinos.
In a press briefing, General Manager of PCSO, Alexander Balutan said that 32.38 percent higher compared to the same period in 2016 with more than PHP18 billion.
Balutan said that total of 182,907 Filipinos nationwide have benefitted from the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) or about 48.24 increase from the last year’s record with PHP3.55 billion amount allocated.
”Our medical and dental programs have served 2,528 individuals and we donated medicines to 73 beneficiaries from January to June. A total 202 ambulances were distributed nationwide worth more than PHP157 million,” he told reporters.
At present, he noted that they have 44 “At-Source-Ang-Processing” (ASAP) desks in different government and hospitals nationwide to quicken the medical assistance particularly to the remote areas.
”We also have our I-HOPE or Integrated Health for Overall Productivity and Empowerment Program is trying to reach the poorest provinces by coordinating with the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and recently distinguish Sulu, Saranggani, Maguindanao, and Lanao del Sur for the I-HOPE Program. For each provinces there will be allotted worth PHP50 million for medical equipments,” he added.
In addition, the Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC) has been expanded from 56 to 92 AACs currently as the board approved the additional 36 AACs.
Balutan also reported that PCSO earned PHP6.17 billion during the first six months of the year or an increase of 149.36 percent as against the same period of last year.
”Our STL is earning more than PHP1 billion a month. Our expanded STL resulted in legitimate jobs for 206,181 STL employees, a 71.03 percent increase last year. Of the said total, 192 are field sales representatives/agents, while 14,803 of them are field sales supervisors,” said Balutan.
Balutan explained that 30 percent of the sales from STL goes to charity fund of PCSO which shall be used for the various health and charitable programs of the agency, including the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) wherein more than 300,000 Filipinos benefited in 2016.
The PCSO General Manager said that the agency shared its charity fund more than PHP426 million to offices in the congressional districts (PHP31.9 million) or 0.25 percent; cities and towns (PHP185 million) or 3.0 percent; police stations (PHP154.40 million) or 2.5 percent; and provincial governments (PHP54.56 million) or 0.75 percent as required by the Implementing Rules and Regulations.
He said illegal numbers games are still rampant in some areas competing with STL games being operated by PCSO’s Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs).
Balutan has reminded the PNP to fulfill its responsibility to eradicate all forms of illegal numbers game and protect the operation of STL based on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with PCSO.
Under the MOA, the PNP agreed to step up the fight against illegal gambling. In return, the PCSO will give the PNP a share of 2.5 percent of its earnings.
The proposed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed last Nov. 22, 2016 with the Philippine National Police (PNP) toward a concrete action against the illegal gambling.
But he said that based on PCSO’s monitoring and reports from AACs, some local police officials allegedly continue to receive payolas from gambling lords who operates the illegal numbers game.
“Ang nangyayari, ‘yung maliliit lang gaya ng bet collector ang hinuhuli nila at hindi ang mga malalaking isda gaya ng illegal gambling financier. Kaya patuloy pa rin ang illegal na jueteng, masiao at iba pang uri ng illegal numbers game sa ibang mga lalawigan sa bansa,” Balutan lamented.
Balutan also warned erring police officials to stop using gambling lords to sabotage STL operations instead of convincing these financiers to go legal.
“I am determined to wage war against gambling lords and their coddlers and I hope you’re with me,” he said.
Also present in the press conference were PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, National Bureau of Investigation Director Dante Gierran and representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). (Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/Vanessa Panesa (OJT)/PNA)