Local Government Units received more than P643 million from Small Town Lottery (STL) operations in 2016 and is expected to significantly increase this year because of its expansion, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Alexander Balutan said.
Balutan made the statement during a consultative meeting on April 20 with local government executives and police officials from Metro Manila, particularly Southern District and Cavite, in Pasay City.
“In 2016, cities and municipalities, congressional districts, provincial governments and police units all over the country received P643.88 million from STL operations,” Balutan said.
Balutan said the amount came from the operations of the original 18 Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) and the figure will likely increase this year with the addition of 38 more AACs that started their operation in February.
Cavite, which has 17 municipalities and 4 cities, had a share of P26.509 million with 9,361 indigent patients in 2016 while NCR-Southern District received P42.934 million shares with 14,852 indigent patients benefited from PCSO’s Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP).
“PCSO was able to help your constituents in 2016 with just 18 existing AACs, what more if we expand the AACs to 56?” Balutan asked.
“Following President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s order, we are planning to add 35 more to the 56 AACs within this year so more LGUs will surely receive more funds for their projects, particularly health programs,” Balutan added.
Balutan said that in the first quarter of 2017 alone, the expanded STL had already earned P2.88 billion which benefited more than 300,00 patients in 2016.
He said, this shows that the expanded STL performance is getting better, and it is going to be beneficial for all Filipinos in need, because 30-percent of its sales will go to charity, including health services and programs.
“This is precisely the reason why we should support STL. This is the proof that LGUs will be able to improve and increase their services to the public,” Balutan said.
Balutan said STL, the only legal numbers game in the country, not just pays taxes to government but also raises additional funds for charity services, provide funds to local government health projects and is expected to generate up to one million jobs nationwide.
He warned illegal gambling lords who continue to operate their illicit activities in some provinces, and urged LGUs to report any form of illegal gambling in their areas.
“We have to put an end to illegal gambling that breeds corruption. Arrest those illegal gambling lords and protectors in your areas,” Balutan told police officials from Cavite and Metro Manila.
The PNP and LGUs assured PCSO that they will arrest and report illegal gambling in their areas and vowed to support PCSO’s programs particularly STL.
“We are happy for the assistance and services that PCSO is giving to our constituents, so in return we will support the STL,” Mayor VirgilioVarias of Alfonso, Cavite said.
“We have to join hands. We have to protect STL and expose and oppose illegal gambling at the same time” Balutan said.
The consultative meeting serves to inform and educate local government officials about the STL and the benefits it can give to their constituents if they support its expansion.