Police post a "closed" sign on a lotto outlet on Saturday, July 27, 2019, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of operations of all gaming schemes granted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office due to "massive corruption."
The STAR/Boy Santos
Where do PCSO revenues go?
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 29, 2019 - 11:06am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government would have to look for other sources of funding for charities after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the revocation of gaming franchises issued by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The chief executive cited "massive" corruption in the agency for ordering the closure of the games, including the lotto.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said needy patients might still be referred to other agencies providing health assistance.

Principal agency raising funds for health programs

The PCSO serves as the principal government agency raising funds for health programs and charities of national character through charity sweepstakes races, lotteries and other similar activities.

In 2018 alone, the PCSO gained P63.56 billion from all its game products, where P18.69 billion or 30% was allocated to the charity fund. This total revenue came from lotto, keno, small town lottery, traditional sweepsstakes and instant sweepstakes.

Under Republic Act 1169 or the PCSO Charter, the agency's net receipts would be divided into 55% for prize fund for payment of prizes, 55% for charity fund for health programs, medical assistance and services and charities of national character and 15% operating fund for day-to-day operating, maintenance and capital expenditures.

In its 2018 accomplishment report, the PCSO reported that P1.27 billion or 2% went to printing cost, P34.26 billion or 55% went to prize fund and P9.34 billion or 15% went to the operating fund.

Last year, 528,190 individuals benefitted from the Individual Medical Assistance Program, the PCSO's flagship charity program. This is 27% higher than the 415,465 beneficiaries PCSO served in 2017 as the agency also generated higher revenues.

RELATED: Isko Moreno revokes licenses, permits for PCSO gaming in Manila

Aside from the flagship charity program, the agency also served 9,231 patients through its medical and dental mission program, where the agency spent P626,249.

Under the out-patient consultation program, the PCSO provided medical and health services worth P1.9 million to 13,929 patients at the PCSO extension office at the Lung Center of the Philippines.

The agency also granted 3,625 patients under the health-capability building for informal dwellers program, where P259,060 was allocated.

A total of 53 government hospitals also benefitted under the endowment fund program worth P155 million.

A total of P35.47 million for 20 beneficiary institutions under the institutional partnership program was granted and while 212 requests were approved for medicines worth P5.19 million.

The PCSO also allocated a total of P86.29 million for areas struck by calamities in 2018, such as those affected by typhoons, monsoons, landslides, volcano eruption and fire.

The agency fulfilled its duty of remitting taxes and duties worth P17.29 billion to the government in 2018.

STL beneficiaries include LGUs, law enforcement

Small town lotteries generated P1.39 billion last year and these were given to cities and municipalities (40%), provinces (15%), congressional districts (9%), the Philippine National Police (29%), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (6%) and the National Bureau of Investigation (1%) as shares.

At the end of its 2018 accomplishment report, the PCSO maintained its commitment to delivering efficient and timely charitable services.

The agency was looking forward to acquire a nationwide online lottery system, a PCSO corporate center, wide area network and the rollout of ISO certification to branch offices.

Its target was to be present in 81 provinces of the country by 2022 but this now hangs in the balance as Duterte has announced the revocation of all of the sweepstakes office's gaming franchises.

As of Sunday, the Philippine National Police reported that 23,654 outlets have been closed nationwide. These include 7,768 outlets, 13,320 small town lottery kiosks, 2,194 Peryahan ng Bayan ooutlets and 472 Keno shops. — Infographic by Jonathan Asuncion

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 22, 2019 - 9:35pm

Get the latest updates on President Duterte's move to shut down lotto and other PCSO games.

August 22, 2019 - 9:35pm

PCSO General Manager Royina Garma announces that President Rodrigo Duterte lifted the suspension of operations of STL.

"... authorized agent corporations that are compliant with the conditions of their STL agency agreement and has been remitting its guaranteed minimum monthly retail receipts provided the following conditions are met," Garma says in a statement.

Conditions set include:

  1. The AACs shall deposit the PCSO a cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly retail receipts on top of their existing cash bonds.
  2. Upon failure to timely and fully remit their GMMRR during the duration of operations, the AAC’s cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the GMMRR shall be automatically forfeited in favor of PCSO, without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.
  3. Each AAC shall execute a written undertaking that it shall comply with its obligations under the STL agency agreement and will not institute any claims, monetary or otherwise against the government and or apply for a temporary restraining order or injunction from any court to prevent the government from exercising its rights and prerogatives.
  4. The STL agency agreement shall automatically be terminated upon violation of the conditions of their franchise and or any of the above conditions without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.

The foregoing conditions shall be applied to other AACs that may be allowed to resume operations, the PCSO official added.

July 31, 2019 - 10:13am

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office announces the resumption of lotto operations after the Office of the President lifted its "suspension" on Tuesday night.

The following games will resume:

  • Lotto 6/42
  • Mega Lotto 6/45
  • Super Lotto 6/49
  • Grand Lotto 6/55
  • Ultra Lotto 6/58
  • 6 Digit Game
  • 4 Digit Game
  • Suertres Lotto
  • EZ2 Lotto

The resumption of games is effective Wednesday, July 31. 

July 30, 2019 - 10:55am

Among the most affected by the closure of PCSO gaming are the Malasakit Centers, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino says in a press briefing.

He says the PCSO is a major source of funds for the Malasakit Centers, which are one-stop shops for financial assistance for the medical needs of poor patients.


President Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address earlier this month, said he hopes to expand the Malasakit Centers through legislation proposed by his former aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go.

"Para manalo sa kampanya, ‘yon ang mantra niya (That was his mantra to win the campaigm)," Duterte said then.

July 29, 2019 - 5:07pm

An organization of government employees warns against privatizing Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office as suggested by Sen. Win Gatchalian, saying it " will not benefit our poor countrymen and many of our government employees."

"Privatization will lead to massive lay-off to employees," Manny Baclagon, COURAGE (Confederation for Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees) 2nd vice president says.

The group adds "the shutting down of lotto outlets is unfair to small operators and to the people who are relying to the help of PCSO assistance."

"The alleged corruption of the PCSO officials should not adversely affect others who are not involved. The Duterte administration should instead punish officials including his appointees that are involve in this activities," the group also says.

July 29, 2019 - 1:06pm

Sen. Win Gatchalian says in a radio dzBB interview that he supports shutting down PCSO gaming because of the reports of corruption in the agency and says he favors privatizing its operations.

"Ang pananaw ko dito ay simple lang, ang gobyerno ay dapat mangolekta lang, so ibig sabihin, itong mga operasyon ng mga lotto, [small town lottery] at perya ng bayan ay dapat ibigay na sa private sector, monitoring supervision at collection ang government," he says.

(My view on this is simple. The government should just collect the revenues, so that means the operations of the lotto, small town lottery and perya ng bayan should be in the private sector and the government will just handle monitoring, supervision, and collection) 

He says the money should go straight to the Department of Social Welfare and Development since the agency has the mandate to help the poor. "So simple lang, collect and let DSWD ang mamahala na tumulong sa kababayan natin."

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