PCSO shares 2014, 1st sem 2015 accomplishments
Speaking at the charity agency’s Good Governance seminar on June 3, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Vice Chairman and General Manager Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II reported that the total sales in 2014 from Lotto and other number games reached P32.32 million, a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year’s figure of P31.62 percent.
The agency has 10 regular games: variants of Lotto and digit games, as well as the Lotto Express (keno) that grew in popularity over the past couple of years, and the traditional Sweepstakes with paper tickets, which is held to raise funds for a particular charitable institutions under the PCSO’s “Partner Tayo” program.
To grow sales for the Charity Fund, the agency works with entrepreneurs who set up Lotto outlets all over the country: as of end-2014, there were 9,072 retailers and outlets selling Lotto tickets and other PCSO products.
Under PCSO’s charter, a strict allocation of the agency’s sales is observed: 55 percent goes to the Prize Fund for winnings, prizes taxes, sellers’ prizes and Sweepstakes sellers’ commissions or shares, which in 2014 reached P13.56 billion. Fifteen percent is set aside for agency operations (as a government-owned and –controlled corporation, PCSO does not receive any funds from the National Treasury).
The allocation to the Charity Fund in 2014 was P9.83 billion, with P3.23 billion of that remitted to the Bureau of Internal Revenue as documentary stamp taxes. The shares of local government units from Lotto and other game sales accounted for P631.39 million, while the flagship medical assistance service program was allocated P5.17 billion (this is the program that provides subsidies for hospitalizations, dialysis, chemotherapy, and other medical- and health-related concerns).
Rojas added that in 2014, the agency’s 42nd branch office was opened in Marinduque in November, from an initial 25 provincial district offices when the present Board of Directors took office in 2010.
Also in 2014, the agency marked its 80th anniversary with the groundbreaking and time-capsule laying of the PCSO’s permanent headquarters at its property in San Marcelino, Manila, where its security printing department is still located.
Another “agency first” notched last year was its first hosting of the World Lottery Association and Asia-Pacific Lottery Association Business Seminar in Manila. It was one of the most well-attended seminars conducted by the two groups of lottery operators, of which PCSO is a member.
The agency’s operational constraints were primarily related to legal cases filed against PCSO by its equipment lease providers and paper suppliers, which resulted in delays in setting up terminals and in the shortage of ticket supplies.
Other factors beyond PCSO’s control that resulted in service delivery lags were related to the strict requirements of government procurement laws, specifically Republic Act No. 9184, resulting in delays in delivering capability building packages for clinics and health centers and ambulance units under the agency’s Ambulance Donation Program.
Other concerns that the agency faces this year include “rampant illegal gambling in the Visayas and daily rotational brownouts in Mindanao,” as cited in an agency report.
This year is better for the agency, with the target of 700 additional lotto outlets already exceeded in the first semester of the year with 750 new outlets opened.
Two more branch offices were opened this year, in Northern Samar and Ilocos Sur, bringing to 44 the total number of branches. The goal is to eventually open a branch in each of the country’s 81 provinces; the target this year is to open seven. On June 22, a branch in Ozamis City will be established, with four more to be opened in the second half of the year.
The PCSO ASAP (At Source Ang Processing) Program was also launched this year through an agreement signed with St. Luke’s Hospital in Global City and Quezon City, where help desks manned by PCSO-trained personnel at those hospitals process patients’ applications for requests for medical assistance. This will reduce, if not eliminate, the need for these patients or their representatives to queue at the PCSO Charity Assistance Department.
As of yesterday, 29 ambulances have been distributed this year to municipalities in the provinces under the agency’s Ambulance Donation Program, with more to be given away.
This year, PCSO is celebrating yet another anniversary – two decades of computerized Lotto operations in the country. Since 1995, Lotto games have raised P300.1 billion for charity.
As they look forward to the future and the challenges and opportunities it brings, the 1,115 officials and employees of PCSO remain dedicated in their service to the Filipino people.
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