Philippine national budget 2024

House budget briefing of PCSO suspended due to ‘flunky accounting’ documents

Dwight de Leon

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House budget briefing of PCSO suspended due to ‘flunky accounting’ documents
PCSO's accounting chief insists the agency does not have a net loss for 2023, but could not answer why it reported billions of pesos in such as reflected on the National Expenditure Program for 2024

MANILA, Philippines – The House appropriations committee suspended the budget deliberations for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Monday, August 14, after lawmakers grew frustrated over the agency’s conflicting numbers in its report.

Marikina 2nd District Representative Stella Quimbo, the House appropriations senior vice chair called out PCSO’s report of an expected P2.923 billion net loss in 2023, based on the Budget of Expenditures and Sources of Financing (BESF) for 2024.

PCSO accounting and budget department chief Ma. Cristina Gregorio insisted that the agency does not have a net loss, but could not answer why it reported billions of pesos in such as reflected on the BESF of the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP).

“I cannot tally everything you presented. You told us you had a very good performance but I cannot reconcile the P2.923 billion in net loss you expect for 2023,” Quimbo said. “This is an important exercise. It’s our accountability to the public. We look at this even if our eyesight is deteriorating.

House ways and means committee chairperson Joey Salceda also criticized PCSO’s submission.

“We cannot make sense out of the numbers that are being presented to us. It is completely flunky accounting,” he said.

According to the same document, PCSO generated a gross revenue of P53.229 billion for 2023, but incurred P55.632 billion in expenses.

PCSO – a government agency under the Office of the President – is tasked to raise and provide funds for health programs, medical services, and charities through charity sweepstakes, races, and lotteries, as well as health and welfare-related investments. – Rachel Ivy Reyes/Rappler.com

Rachel Ivy Reyes is the news editor of Outcrop, the official student paper of the University of the Philippines Baguio. She currently volunteers for Rappler.

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.