By Calvin D. Cordova
Cebu City – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported a huge sales increase in the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL).
In a media forum Sunday at Summit Circle, Cebu City, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said the January STL sales reached P1.87 billion, or a 103.96 percent increase from the same month last year.
“Our STL continues to raise more funds for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s free medicines and financial assistance to medical patients in the country amid the vilification campaign being waged in the in the media by vested-interest individuals to destroy the lottery game in particular and PCSO in general,” said Balutan.
While he thanked the betting public for the sales increase, Balutan also credited the Philippine National Police (PNP) for its aggressive campaign against illegal gambling.
“The police are running after these illegal gamblers especially those who use the results of the PCSO’s numbers games in their illegal activities. I am urging these illegal gambling operators to migrate to our legal numbers games,” said Balutan.
The forum was attended by police officials and STL operators in Central Visayas.
The PCSO has 81 STL authorized agent corporations.
According to Balutan, the lottery made history by generating P15.7 billion in revenue in 2017, or P1.3 billion a month.
Out of the 1.12 billion STL shares, the PCSO gave P314.9 million to the Philippine National Police, P787 million to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, P472.4 million to cities and municipalities, P103.7 million to congressional districts and P150.3 million to provinces.
Balutan said that this year, PCSO opened new branches in Eastern Samar and Biliran.
“By having more branches, we are bringing the PCSO closer to the public,” said Balutan.