The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has not transferred to the Charity Fund P184.302 million in forfeited prizes for Keno games in 2015 to 2017 and P500 million in unused 2017 operating funds contrary to its the lottery agency’s charter, according to the Commission on Audit (CoA).
In its 2018 Annual Audit Report, the CoA said failure to transfer the unclaimed prizes and unused funds for use by PCSO’s Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) violates Section 6.A of Republic Act No. 1169.
The remaining balance of P500 million from the 2017 unutilized operating fund of P1.5 billion was not transferred to CF as of 31 December 2018. CoA warned PCSO that using the said money is tantamount to “juggling or misappropriation of government funds” which may be punishable under the law.
The state auditors recommended PCSO to direct the concerned PCSO officials to immediately transfer the P684.302 million to the CF and augment the funds that may be utilized for various PCSO charity programs especially for the IMAP.
PCSO commented that the transfer of the P500 million unutilized operating funds to the CF has been approved by their chairman last 13 June 2019.
For the forfeited Keno games prizes, PCSO said there was no available funds to be transferred to the CF as the Keno Game has incurred a total deficit of P2.719 billion under its Prize Funds and all funds in that account were already exhausted.
The government-owned corporation explained that they had to source the said amount from the Lotto Reserve Fund adding that the Gaming Product, Development and Marketing Sector had already submitted to the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel a recommendation to terminate the operation of Keno games in compliance with CoA’s previous year’s audit recommendation.
As a rejoinder, CoA maintained that the forfeited prizes on Keno games should still be transferred to the CF as there was no provision under the PCSO Charter which stated that the non-transfer of the forfeited prizes to the CF shall be at the discretion of their management.
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