Revenues from of the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) reached close to PHP2 billion in February, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced Tuesday.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said STL sales hit PHP1,946,395,655 last month, posting a 4.13-percent increase from PHP1,869,263,505.42 in January.
“We would like to attribute the increase in our STL revenues to the number of operating AACs (Authorized Agent Corporations) and their PMRR [Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt], and of course to the betting public who continues to support our lottery and number games,” Balutan said in a statement.
STL is a regular game by PCSO authorized by the national government through Section 1 of Republic Act 1169.
AACs are corporations or cooperatives duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), respectively that applied, been duly qualified and expressly authorized by the PCSO to conduct STL in a particular area.
Since the launch of STL in 2006, the earnings were fixed only from PHP4.7 billion to PHP5 billion. During that time, there were only 18 operating AACs.
Then PCSO Board studied why it was stuck to 18 AACs and found out that the system is controlled by big gambling lords.
“Ayaw nilang i-expand, dagdagan, o palawakin ang STL sa mga probinsya kung saan malakas ang jueteng at iba dahil talagang matatalo ang mga gambling lord na ito. Wala silang mapagkukunan ng pampayola nila sa mga inaalagaan nilang korap na opisyal para tuloy ang kanilang ilegal na gawain (They don’t want to expand the STL in the provinces where jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling are prevalent. It’s because this will make gambling lords lose revenues. They might lose income which they use to bribe corrupt officials so that they can go on with their illegal gambling business),” said Balutan.
In February 2017, PCSO launched its expanded STL. From 18 AACs, the Board approved 56 until the addition of even more AACs, hence it became 92. At present, there are 83 operating AACs.
In May that same year, STL gained an average earning of more than PHP1 billion.
Year 2017 ended with STL making a history due to its record-breaking earnings at PHP15,750.895,045 with a 183.63 percent increase from the PHP6,462,304,820 in 2016. It opened 280,722 jobs as against 173,861 jobs in 2016.
Amidst all the attempts to destroy the agency, particularly the STL and his reputation as former marine general, Balutan assured the people who look up to PCSO for deliverance and the betting public as well that he will not allow it — not during his term.
“I shall not fail the President and the countless indigent patients who look up to PCSO for deliverance. I shall guard the PCSO with my life if necessary, against those who might want to destroy it so that they can take over our gaming operations at the expense of the PCSO and the people. I will not allow it. Not while I’m around,” he said.
The PCSO Charter, or RA 1169, particularly on revenue allocation, provides that the revenue of the PCSO shall be allocated to 55 percent for prize fund (payment of prizes), 30 percent for charity fund (various charity programs and service) and 15 percent as operating fund (maintenance and operating expenses). (Christopher Lloyd Caliwan, PNA)