Multi-billion sweepstakes tickets contract set for upgrade – PCSO

MANILA-- The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be introducing changes to enhance the operation of its Sweepstakes ticket sales to cope with market demands and help raise more funds for the agency's charity services for health and institutional development, General Manager Alexander Balutan said.

As approved by the Board, there are a lot of changes that will be introduced to this particular instant lottery game. Definitely, part of this enhancement strategy is for new players to come in with better and more advantageous offer to the government, Balutan said in a statement.

The board is led by Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz.

The contract for the lottery ticket gaming known as kaskas (scratch) was separately awarded to the Kaskas Marketing Corporation (KMC) owned by the president of the Philippine Gaming Management Corporation (PGMC), a subsidiary of Malaysia-based Berjaya, and Pacific Online System Corporation (POSC).

Both firms were awarded a seven-year contract.

But POSC's contract expired on Nov. 30, 2016 and PGMC's expired in April this year.

PGMC is in lock-horns with PCSO over a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by a Makati court last Monday against the bidding process to modernize the agency's National Online Lottery System (NOLS.

The contract up for bid is worth PHP10.9 billion.

Presiding Judge Maximo M. de Leon of Regional Trial Court, Branch 143 issued the TRO on the same day President Rodrigo Duterte was delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) during the joint session of Congress and part of his speech was requesting the Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno for the courts to stop issuing TROs against priority government projects that are above board and follows public bidding procedures.

This month, Kaskas met with PCSO and asked for an extension of four months after the April expiration of its contract to allow them to sell all the remaining tickets.

According to Balutan, the extension is allowed as stipulated in the contract for the firm to sell all the tickets because these tickets were already considered sold.

The tickets � worth PHP750 million for POSC and PHP250 million for Kaskas on a yearly basis � were printed abroad. All costs for the production of tickets, shipment, customs, warehouse, distribution, among others, are at no cost to the PCSO.

The instant Sweepstakes tickets were reinvented in 2007 after sales tremendously went down and test runs were given to POSC. In 2009, POSC entered with a seven-year contract with the PCSO.

In 2010, Kaskas came into the picture.

The PCSO collects 7.5 percent of the total sales receipts.

Under the current PCSO administration, it intends to raise the volume of production to P5 billion in deemed sold ticket sales by the government through PCSO standing to collect at least 13 percent from the contractor.

Source: Philippine News Agency