PCSO’s cash aid, provides health and welfare to indigent communities

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It’s difficult to live in the Philippines and not be familiar with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Those who live off the grid and have never purchased a lottery ticket are the only ones who are exempt.

The PCSO holds and operates charity sweepstakes, races, and lotteries, as well as invests in health and welfare-related projects and activities, to provide permanent and continuing sources of income for its programs. It also makes additional efforts to improve and expand its fund-raising operations, as well as its fund-management capabilities.

Sweepstakes and lottery games are the PCSO’s primary products. The Sweepstakes game has evolved over time in order to keep up with changing times, to make the game exciting for all Sweepstakes enthusiasts, and, possibly, to attract new clients, and to keep a variety of Sweepstakes items readily available on the market.

Various game types have been introduced, and new game concepts are constantly being developed, particularly for classic and scratch-and-match games, as well as the Small Town Lottery (STL).

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)

The PCSO is a government agency tasked with raising funds for health and medical aid programs, as well as charitable causes. These goals are met through the sale of lottery tickets. Each drawing generates a portion of the proceeds, which are donated to charities that benefit the entire Philippine society.

PCSO was founded in 1934. Its functions are directly overseen by the Philippine President’s Office. According to national law, 55 percent of the money raised from ticket sales goes toward PCSO lottery prizes, 30 percent goes to charity, and the rest is used to cover PCSO organizational and capital expenses.

Lotteries have a long and illustrious history in the Philippines. Such games have existed since the early 1830s, albeit under the auspices of private businesses. PCSO is the result of a national initiative to regulate the sector and raise funds for health and charity programs.

The PCSO is completely owned and controlled by the government. The Philippines has specialized legislation that governs the distribution of lotteries and the collection of charitable donations.

According to reports, the PCSO held its first sweepstakes draw on September 8, 1935. It was so successful that the company was able to repay a government loan two months after it began operations.

Regulatory changes occurred several times in the decades that followed. The increase in the frequency of PCSO lottery draws was one of the most significant legal changes. Furthermore, PCSO began holding special drawings with additional rewards for significant national achievements.

For nearly 50 years, PCSO’s sole and primary source of funding has been sweepstakes. Things eventually changed, and more lotteries were added to the portfolio. Many new games were created in the 1990s, and a few more in the 2000s. As a result of these enhancements, PCSO has been able to raise funds.

Financial assistance and mandatory contributions for PCSO turnover

According to the national daily Philippine Star, the PCSO recently turned over a total of P52 million in financial support to the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

PCSO General Manager Royina Garma stated that checks in the amounts of P22.5 million and P8.8 million were sent to the PNP and NBI, respectively. The cash assistance for the second quarter of the year reflected the law enforcement agencies’ share of the PCSO’s small-town lottery winnings.

Garma praised the PNP and NBI for their contributions to the government’s anti-illegal gaming campaign.

The PCSO also presented CHED with a cheque for P21.4 million as the charity agency’s mandated financial contribution to higher learning institutions, in accordance with Republic Act 7722, or the Higher Education Act of 1994.

Garma urged people to keep playing the lottery and other PCSO games in order to help fund the government’s healthcare programs and medical aid for the poor.

In October 2021, the PCSO distributed P32 million in financial aid to 13 Metro Manila local government units and P190.5 million in medical assistance to a total of 21,593 eligible beneficiaries nationwide.

Charity Funds that focuses on Non-COVID-19

According to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, people suffering from severe diseases other than the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) require immediate assistance from its charity funds.

At the resumption of the budget briefing in the House of Representatives on Aug. 27, PCSO officials urged Congress to help relieve its charity funds of a number of tax impositions and mandatory contributions for non-health programs, citing a sharp drop in earnings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the PCSO, Anselmo Simeon Pinili, and Asst. According to General Manager Dr. Larry Cedro, the state-owned lottery corporation believes it should focus its charity fund on people suffering from non-COVID ailments.

focused too much on COVID 19 but in a NEDA report, it was disclosed that COVID 19 is not the number one cause of fatalities,” said lawyer Gay Albor in a Filipino statement during the PCSO presentation of programs and accomplishments.

She stated that “dialysis and chemotherapy treatments, as well as surgeries and other medical needs,” are urgently needed by a large number of Filipinos.

According to Albor, the ongoing pandemic, which has resulted in a lockdown and other quarantine restrictions, has had a negative impact on PCSO finances.

Revenues from PCSO fell from P44.02 billion in 2019 to P19.61 billion as of June 30, 2021. In 2020, the lowest earnings in the last three years were recorded, with P18.62 billion earned. In 2021, earnings are expected to be P46 billion.

In order for the firm to increase its charitable donations, the PCSO requested that the 20% documentary stamp tax (DST) be reduced to 10%.

Officials revealed that the government had received P3.21 billion in DST from the PCSO’s charity fund of P5.77 billion as of August 2021. According to Albor, the DST was more than P2 billion higher than the PCSO’s allocation for the medical assistance and service program, which was only P888.32 million.

They also want to be exempt from paying mandatory contributions to non-health programs such as sports development, dangerous drugs, the national museum, higher education, and local government assistance.

“We have at least 17 special laws requiring funding support,” she said.

The PCSO is one of two government-run gaming organizations that raise funds for charity and other social causes. The other is the Philippine Gaming Corporation.

As the House of Representatives began hearings on the 2022 budget, officials from the two state-owned companies testified about their contributions to the national income.