As it turns 80 this year, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be coming home to its original headquarters in Ermita district, Manila.
PCSO officials led by lawyer Jose Ferdinand Rojas 2nd, acting chairman and general manager, on Monday spearheaded ground-breaking for its permanent headquarters at its property on San Marcelino Street in the district.
“PCSO is coming home. After two decades, we will be constructing more buildings to accommodate our personnel and beneficiaries at San Marcelino,” Rojas said.
The PCSO Board of Directors has envisioned a three-building complex, to be called the PCSO Center.
Rojas said one building will be dedicated to charity services, another to gaming activities and the third for executive and administrative offices.
The San Marcelino site, which covers 1.1 hectares, will also have ample parking space for employees and the public, he added.
When completed, the entire complex will cover around 3,600 square meters of floor area, including parking and warehouses for gaming equipment and supplies.
“All aspects of design and construction will be bid out, with the project to be completed by 2018, if not sooner,” Rojas said.
The San Marcelino property was acquired on October 8, 1962, from the Manila Club for P1.8 million.
It was the PCSO’s first real property under its name.
The agency was housed in one building there until 1995, when the head office was transferred to the Quezon Institute building on E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City.
The security printing and several other departments remained at San Marcelino, where they still are to this day.
In 2010, on the advice of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) of earthquake risk, the head office was transferred to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) Complex in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
Because the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference Summit that will be held at the PICC in 2015 and the facilities there have to be renovated, the PCSO moved to a building in Mandaluyong City (also Metro Manila), where it is staying until the PCSO Center is constructed.
PCSO has also office in Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City (Charity Assistance and Medical Services departments).
“Our stay at our various locations now is only temporary until the new buildings are constructed,” Rojas said.