The Commission on Audit (COA) questioned the non-disclosure of details regarding the prize fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)’s small town lottery (STL) in 2019.
In an audit report, state auditors said some authorized agency corporations (AACs) handling STLs did not submit reports and some were not included in the recorded STL prize fund transactions.
“It was noted that the said expenses were based only on the revenue allocation rates…. The prize fund expenses were not supported by documents/information to prove the existence of valid winners,” COA said.
Under the STL’s revised implementing rules and regulations, the prize fund is placed under the care of AACs.
In 2019, a total of P622.393 million had been set aside for prize fund expenses. Any excess amount should be returned to the PCSO by the concerned AAC.
“Verification, however, disclosed that none was remitted at the end of the year,” COA said.
State auditors also said they were not given a copy of the summary of prizes and winnings charged against the prize fund. The summary was reportedly submitted to the Branch Operations Sector last February 5.
Financial documents attached to the audit report also showed that the PCSO registered an almost 31% drop in earnings from gaming operations in 2019.
The PCSO’s earnings for last year stood at P44.028 billion – P19.54 billion lower than 2018’s P63.568 billion.
Lotto, Keno, the National Instant Sweepstakes Program, and STL – all 4 major sources – registered sharp dives in earnings.
Earnings from Lotto operations were at P21.359 billion, a decrease of almost P11 billion from 2018’s P31.908 billion. Keno sales, meanwhile, dived to P1.753 billion from 2018’s P4.398 billion.
STL earned only P19.875 billion in 2019 compared to P26.113 billion in 2018, while ScratchIt brought in P961.014 million last year after reaching P1.15 billion in 2018.
Only Sweepstakes and Peryahan earnings rose, with the former registering P11.25 million in 2019 compared to P4.867 million in 2018. Peryahan, meanwhile, brought in P68.77 million as opposed to just P495,032 in 2018. – Rappler.com