The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is an agency that helps raise funds for the Philippine government, making it possible to provide medical aid and health programs and support charity activities throughout the country. In addition, the agency offers various programs and services that will benefit the nation’s development. But what is the function of PCSO, and how does it work? To find out, read on as we share everything to know about PCSO, from its purpose, games, and services.
Founded in 1934, PCSO is a government-owned and controlled agency that helps make money and raise funds for the Philippine government. This agency makes money from races, lotteries, and sweepstakes, providing funds for welfare and health-related investments. Furthermore, PCSO supports activities and projects that boost its operations to generate more funds, which can help the deprived and marginalized sectors. Therefore, the games PCSO offers help generate funds to support programs for Filipinos who require assistance and improve their quality of life.
What is PCSO: Purpose & History
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, or PCSO, is a corporation owned and controlled by the Philippine government. It’s a money-making agency mandated to raise funds to provide national projects and health programs that benefit the deprived and marginalized sectors in the Philippines. PCSO focuses on generating income through charitable races and sweepstakes. The agency also invests in welfare and health-related projects that can help improve the lives of Filipinos.
Moreover, PCSO has various sweepstakes and lottery products that offer cash prizes to lucky winners, from Small Town Lottery to Super Lotto. Initially, the corporation started as a fund-raising event to support sports projects for Filipino youth under the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF). In 1934, PCSO was established by the government, regulating sweepstakes games to boost fund-raising operations. Since then, Filipinos have recognized PCSO for providing quality services.
Despite starting with sweepstakes games, PCSO didn’t stop innovating and leveled up its products to provide better games. So far, PCSO offers various products, including:
Since 1833, the Spanish government has regulated lotteries in the Philippines to generate funds. However, the lottery operations halted during the Philippine Revolution. In 1932, the Philippine government conducted its first sweepstakes to make money, aiming to fund sports projects for Filipino youth. To date, PCSO offers three (3) types of sweepstakes games, including the Traditional Sweepstakes, Mini Sweepstakes Game, and the Partner Tayo Mini Sweepstakes Game.
PCSO draws the sweepstakes game once a month, offering a cash prize ranging from P5,000 to P400,000. The Partner Tayo Mini Sweepstakes Game is a special program administered by PCSO, aiming to generate funds for welfare and health-related projects of local government units, government agencies, and non-government organizations. In 1998, PCSP also introduced the Double Panalo, an enhanced game combining sweepstakes and lotto games.
Aside from sweepstakes, PCSO manages the bettor’s winning payouts for horse racing. The Games and Amusement Board supervises the betting operations, and the generated revenue from horse racing goes to the PCSO fund. The winnings are claimable at the cashier terminal for bettors with small payouts. But bettors who will claim large payouts should proceed to a PCSO branch. Additionally, the generated revenue from legal horse racing helps to maintain and provide better facilities throughout the Philippines.
Small Town Lotteries
In 2005, PCSO supported the campaign to remove the Jueteng game in the country. Instead, they offered the Small Town Lottery (STL) as an alternative legal game. In 2006, PCSO implemented the Small Town Lotteries. PCSO distributed its revenue to local and government organizations, including municipalities, provincial government, congress districts, and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Currently, PCSO offers STL Pares, STL Swer2, and STL Swer3.
PCSO offers various national lottery games that they legally operate throughout the Philippines. The lottery games PCSO administers provide small to large payouts, such as the Ultra-Lotto 6/58 with a minimum jackpot prize worth P50,000,000. Also, PCSO broadcasts the lottery results on television and online every night. Lucky bettors can claim their winnings at the PCSO branch based on their winning amount. Below are the lottery games PCSO is currently offering:
- 2D Lotto
- 3D Lotto
- 4D Lotto
- 6D Lotto
- Lotto 6/42
- Mega-Lotto 6/45
- Super-Lotto 6/49
- Grand-Lotto 6/55
- Ultra-Lotto 6/58
With its mandate, PCSO focuses on fund-generating operations to support health programs. The agency funds in-house medical programs and charities conducted by various organizations. Since its founding, PCSO constantly evolved and established various social welfare programs. In addition, the agency innovated its fund-generating schemes to generate more revenue and provide better programs and services. PCSO allocates funds to the following programs:
- Ambulance donation program
- Community outreach program
- Endowment of funds
- Health care programs
- National disaster and calamity programs
- Improvement of healthcare facilities and hospital renovation
- Free/subsidized welfare services to elderlies, youth, and children abandoned or exploited and mentally and physically disadvantaged people.
Apart from in-house medical programs, PCSO allocates funds to various government agencies per the law, such as:
- Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP)
- Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP)
- Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
- Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)
- Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB)
- Department of Finance (DOF)
- Local Government Units (LGUs)
- National Council on Disability Affairs
- Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines
- Philippine Red Cross
- Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)
- Quezon Institute
PCSO also allocates its generated funds from sweepstakes tickets net sales to the following:
- Prize Fund – 55%
- Charity Fund- 30%
- PCSO capital expenditures and operating expenses – 15%
- All PCSO balances go to the Charity Fund
- All unclaimed prizes within one year from the draw date are considered forfeited and go to the Charity Fund.
- The board may utilize the Charity Fund for approved investments, given it’s not over 10% of the net receipts from sweepstakes ticket sales for the year.
PCSO Programs & Services
CAD Programs & Services
- Calamity Assistance Program (CAP) – This program is an assistance PCSO offers to individuals and families affected by disasters, calamities, and medical emergencies through Local Government Units (LGUs)
- Medical Access Program (MAP) – This program refers to the assistance PCSO provides to individuals suffering from health problems who require financial help. PCSO grants financial aid through the government and private hospitals. Also, other PCSO partner offers this program, such as healthcare facilities and medicine retailers.
- Medical Transport Vehicle (MTV) Donation Program – Under this program, PCSO provides medical transport vehicles to LGUs of unsafe and conflict-stricken communities and disadvantaged and geographically isolated areas.
- Medicine Donation Program – pertains to the program wherein PCSO provides basic medicines and supplies to qualified government and non-government agencies, health facilities, and non-profit organizations, allowing them to administer efficient healthcare services.
- Institutional Partnership (IP) Program – With the IP Program, PCSO provides financial grants to varying charitable medical facilities and welfare agencies, aiming to support the health and medical needs of the disadvantaged and poor sectors of the communities.
- Integrated Health for Overall Productivity and Empowerment (I-HOPE) – provides primary healthcare and medical equipment to barangay and rural health stations in poverty-stricken provinces throughout the Philippines.
Medical Services Department (MSD) Programs & Services
- Auxiliary Ambulance Service – is granted to patients who require transportation services from a PCSO facility to a hospital, the hospital to home, or hospital to hospital.
- Medical and Dental Mission Program – This refers to programs conducted by the PCSO, including regular outreach health care services and free medicines to individuals affected by calamities or living in depressed areas through LGUs within and outside Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.
- Medicine Donation Program (MDP) – The MDP refers to short-term assistance PCSO offers for basic medicines from government and non-government agencies, non-profit organizations, and healthcare facilities.
- Outpatient Services Program – This program provides general medicine consultation, free medicines, dental treatment and consultation, and basic/minor surgeries.
The agency provides electronic services, including the Health Care Facility Assistance Validation and PCSO Medical Access Program (MAP) Online Application. PCSO designed this system for individuals applying for financial assistance to cover medical expenses, provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Furthermore, it offers an Online MAP Application Status Inquiry, PCSO Gift Check Validation, and Print Guarantee Letter/Claim Slip.
- PCSO Charity Clinic Services – This refers to the free healthcare services PCSO offers to depressed areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, such as consultations, ambulance service to patients, minor surgeries, emergency care, and referrals.
- Direct financial, medical, and funeral assistance – Through this service, PCSO provides direct cash aid to individuals who are victims of unforeseen accidents or events, such as the Mount Pinatubo eruption, the Ozone fire tragedy, and other similar circumstances.
To sum up, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) aims to generate funds for the Philippine government. This agency is owned and controlled by the government, established to make money by regulating sweepstakes, horse racing, and lottery games. The funds PCSO generates make charitable activities and health programs possible, benefitting the deprived and needy communities across the Philippines.
Although many think that PCSO only encourages gambling, it actually helps generate funds to support programs and activities that aim to improve the lives of Filipinos. Therefore, PCSO doesn’t only provide innovative games and entertainment. But it also helps raise funds for the government to realize health programs and charitable activities for the marginalized sector and depressed communities.