PCSO Knocks on NCR LGU Executives’ Heart to Allow STL Operation

Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs

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By EDD K. USMAN

(SDN) — Generating revenue for the national government is a tall task to perform. But that’s exactly what the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has been doing. It’s its mandate.

And one of the charity agency’s huge performers in raising funds is the Small Town Lottery, or STL. It’s one of the PCSO’s lotteries of which every peso of revenue goes to Prize Fund, 55 percent; Charity Fund, 30 percent; and Operating Fund, 15 percent. Note that the PCSO does not receive funding from the national government. It survives by its own.

Take note also that the STL was not operating in any National Capital Region (NCR) area until April 2017 when Western Manila opened one Authorized Agent Corporation’s (AAC) operation. NCR is comprised of 16 cities and one municipality. As of May 1, 2020 the NCR population was pegged at 13,484,462 according to the Philippine Statistics Office (PSA).

In 2018 STL earned Php26.11 billion; in 2019 this declined to Php19.87 billion because of various factors from out of 18 STL operations. As early 2017 the PCSO was evaluating 35 AACs’ applications. The charity agency had opened application for STL operation in the NCR.

As the charity agency needs more and more funds for its medical assistance for Filipinos and to fulfill its mandatory contributions to select government agencies, PCSO General Manager Royina M. Garma appealed on Thursday (October 29) to more NCR local government units (LGUs) to accept and allow the operation of STL in their localities. Revenue from STL, she emphasized, could help them address their constituents’ needs and welfare.

Apparently, she made the appeal, noting that some NCR LGUs are still averse to allowing STL operation. Currently, STL is being operated in Northern and Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol Region, Visayas Region, Mindanao Region, and National Capital Region.

“I appeal to our LGUs, please accept our games. The revenues will be shared with you and the other poor areas,” Garma said. She made the appeal as she turned over Php49 million to a number of LGUs for their STL shares amounting to a total of Php32 million.

PCSO General Manager Royina Marzan Garma at PCSO Headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. She turned over Php49 million worth of PCSO assistance to various government agencies on Thursday. (Photo: contributed by N.A.)

As in the past the PCSO also disbursed STL fund the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHEd) a mandatory share from STL worth Php17 million.

Garma plans to visit NCR officials for a dialogue to drive home the PCSO appeal.

“I’ll go around to explain to them,” she added. The charity agency’s general manager, also its vice chairman of the Board, expressed confidence STL will stop illegal numbers games’ proliferation like “jueteng” in the NCR if tax is applied properly.

Garma turned over checks representing STL shares to Manila, Php9,287,534.53; Quezon City, Php15,069,633.41; Taguig City Php7,556.34; Makati City, Php25,647.27; Parañaque City, Php214,884.70; Parañaque City, Php214,884.70; Pateros, Php32,289.46; San Juan City, Php98,695.12; Mandaluyong City, Php63,566.83; Muntinlupa City, Php32,289.36; Marikina City, Php384,369.48; Pasay City, P3,290,194.87; and Pasig City, Php637,780.28; Php2,731,702.76.

As amended, Republic Act No. 1169 established the PCSO “as the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.”

Its mandate covers the authorization through R.A. No. 1169 “to hold and conduct lotteries and other similar activities” to generate its revenue. (✓)

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