PCSO loses track of Pinoy millionaires

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PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said the prize is the winner’s personal money, in the first place.

If he had his way, Balutan said he wants to have a monitoring mechanism just to see if they invest their prized money wisely.

Balutan said there are 80 lottery winners per year most of them are self-employed. This year alone, there are already 44 lottery millionaires.

He cited a tricycle driver, who claimed his prize amounting to P120 million. He was advised to open a bank’s ATM account for PCSO to deposit his winning money. But like other lottery winners, Balutan said the tricycle driver just wanted his cheque.

Based on the information received by PCSO, Balutan lamented that most winners shared their winning prize to relatives and some do not know what to do with their millions.

“Ang maraming pera ay nakakabuti ng ating buhay. Pero ito ay nakakasama din (Money can help improve our life. But it can also make us miserable,” Balutan said in an interview on the sidelines of the PCSO Edituryal at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Thursday.

Florante Solmerin, PCSO spokesperson, said lottery winners are one-day millionaires. Once they get their prize, the money is allocated to paying debts and other obligations.

It has been challenging for PCSO on how to guide lottery winners on managing their money properly. “Ang iba sobrang galante (Others are very generous),” he said. Others spend the money in casino as if there is no end.

Balutan said PCSO allocates 55 percent of its total funds for prizes, 30 percent to charity and 15 percent for PCSO operations.

PCSO already generated P24.04 billion from lotto operations from January to September, this year; P3.87 million from the Lotto Express or KENO; P9.22 billion from Small Time Lottery; and, P12.5 million from sweepstakes.

The funds for charity are allocated for ambulance donation program, Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP), which is the biggest shelled out by PCSO at P4.9 billion only for January to September benefitting 225,437 Filipinos who availed of healthcare assistance. –Lilian C. Mellejor/PNA

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