OVER a year after the appointment of former Philippine National Police director Jose Jorge Corpuz and former Marine Major General Alexander Balutan as chairman and general manager, respectively, of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision is paying off. Literally.
PCSO’s performance improved 33.6% percent year-on-year, and is projected to earn P51.8 billion at the end of 2017. Latest figures show earnings of P33,618,848,831.27 from January to August this year; in the same period in 2016 – before the new appointments were announced – PCSO registered sales of only P25,163,991,841. The figures comprise sales from Lotto, Lotto Express, Small Town Lottery (STL), and Sweepstakes.
The significant increase in earnings is welcome news to beneficiaries of government charity services. PCSO allocates 30 percent of its earnings to these services.
According to the PCSO GM, they think they can still further increase earnings to P60 billion, with the spread of more STL outlets nationwide—now numbering 80, from 18 at the time they assumed their new posts—and an expansion of current product offerings.
“We will continue to be true to our mandate to generate funds for charity services,” Balutan vows.
The spike in revenues has also allowed PCSO to open more branches across the country. They just recently opened their 60th in Samar, and aim to open two to three more before the end of the year. Each branch has a daily allocation of funds to dispense as charity; having more branches nationwide allows indigent patients throughout the archipelago, easier access to charity services.
The higher earnings reflect the increasing contributions of STL operations. Viewed as means of cutting into the activities of illegal numbers gaming operators, STL currently trails the contributions of lotto. GM Balutan thinks that next year though may mark a shift, with STL pacing lotto revenues, en route to surpassing it in 2019.
The success of STL brings with it the added benefit of bringing employment to many marginalized Filipinos. These include the cabos, kubradors, runners and collectors—a number of them previously involved in illegal numbers games—but now employed for STL operations. Balutan estimates that up to a million of them could end up working for PCSO.
Balutan acknowledges that PCSO had to adjust to the leadership style that he and Chairman Corpuz brought to the organization.
“We are mission-oriented,” he explains.
With significant accomplishments, this early it seems their mission was accomplished at PCSO.