Recto-PCSO earnings is needed to augment SUCs' budget yearly
By Jason de Asis
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 4, 2010-Sen. Ralph G. Recto, chair of the Senate ways and means said yesterday that cash-strapped state universities and colleges (SUCs) may have to depend on state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), which is posting record sales due to renewed public confidence on its lotto product, to augment its shrinking budget yearly.
The senator said that SUCs could be eligible to become one of the beneficiaries of the 30 percent of revenues that PCSO sets aside for charity work.
He said that the chief executive could consider earmarking another 10 percent of the agency's income to support financially handicapped SUCs, since PCSO is now under the direct control and supervision of the Office of the President, adding that there could still be room to accommodate one more patient-SUCs suffering from fiscal cancer aside from helping the poor and the sick.
Recto furthered that the state college education is a serious charity case, saying that this is an example of how to tap funding sources to support financially troubled SUCs without having to overhaul the budget or send angry students out on the streets.
Recto reported the latest sales registered by PCSO in the run-up a P741 millions Grand Lotto indicated to have breached P1.4 billion the state-owned agency may have just broken its sales record in the previous years, adding that sales could further increase if every bettor is made aware that the purchase of a lotto ticket is also helping send an “Iskolar ng Bayan” to school.
In 2006 sales recorded from P9 billion wherein the aggregate lottery sales of PCSO's accredited operators have grown to P23 billion in 2009, adding that the lotto sales of P7.69 billion last year from P6.49 billion in 2008 for its Visayas and Mindanao markets according to PCSO lotto operator Pacific Online Systems Corporation.
A reported sales of P15.7 billion in 2009, up by P1.96 billion from P13.74 billion in 2008 said by the Prime Gaming Philippines, Inc., whose unit Prime Gaming Management Corp. operates Luzon lottery terminals,
“PCSO could curve out a dedicated SUCs fund from its yearly income that would go directly to the 112 SUCs around the country and help boost their meager budget, which would amount to P22.017 billion in 2011,” he stressed, adding that a Grand Campus Lotto draw may also be held every semester where part of the proceeds or sales would go to SUCs.
Recto stressed, “let us channel the excess money energy to more useful missions such as augmenting the outlay of state campuses instead of capping the lotto pot.” (Jason de Asis)