MANILA, Philippines ? A person who suddenly becomes richer by P500 million or even P1 billion is faced with a dilemma ? what to do with it.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Thursday that this would be the problem of whoever would win the jackpot prize of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) 6/55 Megalotto.
The pot prize has reached over P600 million and without a winner yet after 84 draws.
"The person who will win P1 billion and the person who will win P500 million, it will be just the same. You suddenly get money and you don?t know what to do with," Belmonte told reporters in his weekly news conference Thursday when asked to comment about the lotto prize.
Given the scenario, the House leader said it might be "prudent" to put a cap on the jackpot prize as proposed by Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evadone.
"That really needs some studying because it might even reach P1 billion. To me, [PCSO] can put a cap there," he said.
He said the half a billion pot prize "is a good amount," adding that the amount in excess of P500 million can be added to the new jackpot prize.
Under his proposed resolution, Evardone said that once the pot prize has reached P500 million and no one has won it, the amount should be donated to charitable institutions.
He said that the huge prize was slowly making gambling addicts among Filipinos, including those who don't normally bet on the lotto game.
In supporting Evardone's resolution, Belmonte said the winner "should be happy" with the P500 million prize.
"I'd be very happy if I win only two numbers [out of the six-number combination]," he added.
Asked about his view on the decision of President Benigno Aquino III to revert back to the Office of the President the PCSO from the Department of Health, Belmonte said this would insure closer supervision of the agency.
"It's good, at least there's no more additional layer to it. Let's face it, whether it is under the DoH, at the end of the day, it is still the Office of the President who will run it," he added.
Asked if the move was meant to allow the President to use the PCSO funds as part of his "pork" or funds for his disposal, he said, "It can be used as anything since time immemorial. It's up to the President, I believe that this President will not do it."