• 05/19/2019
  • 08:42 PM
League Online News


IN PHOTO:  PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan (second to the right) is joined by Remeliza Gabuyo, Assistant General Manager for Branch Operations Sector of PCSO (leftmost); Esel Flores, representative of Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores (second to the left), and Nonoy Macahilig, representative of Aklan Congressman Carlito Marquez (rightmost) during the inauguration ceremony and blessing of the Aklan Branch Office on November 12, 2018       (Photo by Eric Delos Reyes)


Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Alexander Balutan is confident that the agency will hit its P60 billion or maybe more revenue target this year.


Balutan has noted the growing sales from the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL) operations being operated by Authorized STL Agents (ASAs) nationwide.


“From January to September 2018, our gross sales already hit almost P50 billion, and that is because of our hard-working employees all over the country. I’m very confident we can have a new record-breaking P60 billion by the end of 2018,” said Balutan who led the inauguration of the new PCSO Branch Office in Aklan last November 12, 2018.


The event was also attended by Nonoy Macahilig, representative of Aklan Congressman Carlito Marquez; Remeliza Gabuyo, Assistant General Manager for Branch Operations Sector of PCSO; Engineer Federico Damole, Visayas Department Manager; Esel Flores, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member and representative of Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores; representatives of the Governor; and other PCSO officials and employees.


Aklan Branch is the second PCSO-owned building in Visayas region located at Capitol Subdivision, Estancia, Kalibo. It will have a daily IMAP (Individual Medical Assistance Program) allocation of P150,000.


Before he assumed as PCSO General Manager in 2016, Balutan recalled that PCSO had only 52 branches, now it has 66 with the recent opening of three new branches in Surigao, Cavite City, and Maguindanao province.


“This new building is a clear manifestation that PCSO will not leave Aklan. Meaning, we are here permanently in Aklan. You can easily reach us. We constructed this building to widen our reach and help more people,” said Balutan.


On the daily P150,000 IMAP allocation of Aklan, Balutan assured the people of Aklan that the agency will give that all to the Aklan patients.


“Uubusin natin ‘yan sa mga pasyente na taga-Aklan. I just don’t know if we can increase that allocation, but we have the Universal Health Care (UHC) program, which was started by our President [Rodrigo Duterte],” he added.

The Senate Bill 1896 or “UHC for Filipinos Act,” which was passed on third and final reading by the Senate on October 10, is seeking to give all Filipino access to health care coverage and services. The landmark bill, approved by 14 senators, seeks to grant every Filipino, even non-contributors to Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth), access to “quality and affordable health goods and services.”


To provide funding, it will pool contributions from state-owned gaming companies such as PCSO and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), and other government agencies.


“’Yan yung prinsipyo na gustong mangyari ng ating Pangulo ang magtutulong-tulong ang lahat ng ahensya para sa mga kababayan nating hindi makabayad sa hospital, at minsan hino-hostage pa,” he said.


“This is a priority bill, by the end of this year, baka maging batas na ito. So lahat ng ating kababayan na humihingi ng tulong medical ay wala ng balance billing,” added Balutan.


Also by the end of the year, Balutan revealed that PCSO intends to open three more branches in Saranggani province, Agusan, and Guimaras.


“Overwhelmed kami sa pagpapatayo ng building [na ito] kasi napakaganda. Iaayos namin ang COB [Command Operating Budget] namin and we will include the constructions of new building – mga P50 million a year. It will be a standard edifice, depende sa laki ng province or lawak ng natutulungan ng PCSO,” revealed Balutan.


Balutan shared that his only vision before was to hit P50 billion, but now the agency is targeting P60 billion due to the roll out of STL and strengthening of Lotto nationwide.


“This is the direction of PCSO – to help some more and touch lives lalung lalo ng mga kababayan nating nasa laylayan nang sa gayun ay mararamdaman nila ang presensya ng ating gobyerno sa pamumuno ni Pangulong Duterte, and of course, maramdaman dito sa Aklan ang presensya ng kanilang local government officials,” he said.


“Pero hindi ito mangyayari kung hindi natin kikitain. That’s why very aggressive tayo sa ating campaign against illegal gambling especially ‘yung mga jueteng, swertres, pares. Only PCSO is the authorized by the government to operate,” reminded Balutan.


Accordingly, reports reaching Balutan that illegal numbers game is still rampant in Aklan. Although jueteng and STL have the same mechanics, the former is illegal, while STL is a regular game by PCSO authorized by the national government through Section 1 of Republic Act 1169.


While ASAs are corporations or cooperatives duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or with the Cooperative Development Authority, respectively, that applied, been duly qualified and expressly authorized by the PCSO to conduct STL in a particular area.


“Lagi kong sinasabi na tangkilikin natin ang mga authorized numbers game sa probinsya nang sa gayon ay mapapaigting natin ang pangangalap ng pondo para sa charity fund. ‘Yun yung idea nun. Yetbo Gaming Philippines Corporation is the only authorized STL agent in Aklan,” concluded Balutan.


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).


The agency’s Charity Fund helps pay for free hospitalization and medicines of indigent patients and other medical services such chemo and dialysis treatments, among others.

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