Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Alexander Balutan is confident the agency will hit its P60-billion revenue target this year.
In a statement, Balutan noted the growing sales from the expanded Small Town Lottery operations being operated by Authorized STL Agents nationwide.
“From January to September 2018, our gross sales already hit almost P50 billion, and that is because of our hardworking employees all over the country. I’m very confident we can have a new record-breaking P60 billion by the end of 2018,” said Balutan, who led the inauguration of the new PCSO Branch Office in Aklan last Nov. 12.
The event was also attended by Nonoy Macahilig, representative of Aklan Rep. Carlito Marquez; Remeliza Gabuyo, PCSO Assistant General Manager for Branch Operations Sector; Engineer Federico Damole, Visayas Department Manager; Esel Flores, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and representative of Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores; and other PCSO officials and employees.
Aklan Branch is the second PCSO-owned building in Visayas region located at Capitol Subdivision, Estancia, Kalibo. It will have a daily Individual Medical Assistance Program allocation of P150,000.
Before he became PCSO general manager in 2016, Balutan recalled that the agency had only 52 branches. Now it has 66 with the recent opening of three new branches in Surigao, Cavite City, and Maguindanao province.
“This new building is a clear manifestation that PCSO will not leave Aklan. Meaning, we are here permanently in Aklan. You can easily reach us. We constructed this building to widen our reach and help more people,” said Balutan.
On the daily P150,000 IMAP allocation of Aklan, Balutan assured the people of the province the agency will give the fund all to Aklanon patients.
“I just don’t know if we can increase that allocation, but we have the Universal Health Care program, which was started by our President [Rodrigo Duterte],” he added.
Senate Bill 1896 or “UHC for Filipinos Act,” which was passed on third and final reading by the Senate on Oct. 10, seeks to give all Filipino access to health care coverage and services.
The landmark bill, approved by 14 senators, seeks to grant every Filipino, even non-contributors to Philippine Health Insurance Corp., access to “quality and affordable health goods and services.
To provide funding, it will pool contributions from state-owned gaming companies such as PCSO and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and other government agencies.
“This is a priority bill, by the end of this year, it may become law,” added Balutan.
Also by the end of the year, Balutan revealed that PCSO intends to open three more branches in Saranggani province, Agusan, and Guimaras.
Balutan shared that his only vision before was to hit P50 billion, but now the agency is targeting P60 billion due to the roll out of STL and strengthening of Lotto nationwide.
“This is the direction of PCSO—to help some more and touch lives,” he said. “That’s why we’re very aggressive with our campaign against illegal gambling especially against jueteng, swertres, pares. Only PCSO is authorized by the government to operate [numbers games],” reminded Balutan.
Although jueteng and STL have the same mechanics, the former is illegal, while STL is a regular game by PCSO authorized by the national government through Section 1 of Republic Act 1169.
ASAs 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.
PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated to 55 percent for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30 percent for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15 percent as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses).
The agency’s Charity Fund helps pay for free hospitalization and medicines of indigent patients and other medical services such chemo and dialysis treatments, among others.