Balutan: PCSO detractors not happy with STL expansion
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Alexander Balutan said he will not allow critics eyeing control of Small Town Lottery to destroy the agency.
“Only our detractors who want to control STL for their own personal interest are not happy with this because they hallucinate so much. Imagine the billions of pesos they are now losing because of our aggressive expansion of the STL where these notorious gambling lords used to monopolize their illegal numbers game such as jueteng, swertres, masiao, pares…” Balutan said during a presser on Sunday at the Summit Circle in Cebu.
On Monday, Balutan skipped the Senate hearing on various PCSO controversies to join President Rodrigo Duterte in the unveiling of “Malasakit Center” at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, also in Cebu.
Malasakit Center is a one-stop shop where patients can avail of faster and effective processing of their financial/medical needs through the help of staff from PCSO, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare, Development and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Authority.
The center aims to simplify the process and help poor patients confined in hospitals in seeking assistance from various government agencies.
“You know, the critics who wanted to destroy PCSO are so strong. But I assure you they will not prevail. They cannot suppress the truth. I won’t allow them to destroy PCSO which is under the Office of the President,” Balutan said.
Balutan noted that PCSO generated P52.9 billion from its Lotto, Keno, Small Town Lottery (STL), and Sweepstakes. This is 34 percent higher than the revenues from the said games in 2016.
Lotto gained the highest retail receipts amounting to P31.8 billion, followed by Keno with P5.3 billion in 2017. Sweepstakes earned P22.5 million in 2017.
PCSO said it has earned P1.87 billion from the expanded STL January this year— at least 103 percent higher compared to the P917 million STL earnings last Jan 2017.
Balutan also reported during the Cebu event that the daily Individual Medical Assistance Program allocation for the PCSO extension office at the Lung Center of the Philippines increased from P4 million to P8 million this year.
Also, the IMAP allocation in Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region increased by 161 percent from P1.5 million to P4.05 million, while that of the Visayas region rose to P3.2 million. Meanwhile, the Northern and Central Luzon’s allocation increased by 144-percent; while that of Mindanao, increased to P1.75 million.
Balutan said he plans to come up with a more efficient system and review the current implementing rules and regulations on the STL to increase earnings.
Currently, the agency has 63 STL branches managed by 92 authorized agent corporations (AAs) nationwide.
Eight new PCSO branches recently opened in the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Catanduanes, Sultan Kudarat, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Davao del Norte, and Ifugao.
At present, the PCSO has 57 At Source And Processing (ASAP) desks and the remaining of the 88 approved will be operating this year, Balutan said. /je
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