MANILA — A lawmaker has sought the transfer of unclaimed lotto prizes amounting to PhP3.35 billion to the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) to finance and enhance its social welfare programs.
Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) has filed House Bill No. 5257, which directs the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to cause the transfer.
“The effective and efficient disposition of significant financial resources to benefit rightful beneficiaries and families will further boost the mandate of DSWD. After all, these accumulated unclaimed prizes are deemed already incurred after the one year expiry,” Castelo said.
In pushing for the bill’s approval, Castelo cited instances in 2011 where two major prizes for solo winners went unclaimed. One was in the amount of PhP23.7 million jackpot prize for the 6/42 Regular Lotto draw on March 15, 2011 for the winning ticket sold by a lotto outlet in Binondo, Manila. The second instance was for the 6/45 Mega Lotto draw on March 25, 2011 wherein the winning ticket was sold in Harrison Plaza, Manila.
“In fact, a total of PhP3.35 billion worth of lottery prizes, accumulated from 2006 to 2013 were unclaimed from the PCSO as revealed during a House Committee on Games and Amusement hearing,” Castelo said.
Castelo said the measure wants sums of money representing unclaimed prizes of lotto draws to be effectively and efficiently channeled to another agency, in this instance, the DSWD to administer them and to beef up its social welfare programs.
He proposed the DSWD because it runs a highly reliable targeting system on most of its welfare programs that is able to target the legitimate and rightful beneficiaries of such goods and services.
Under the measure to be known as the “DSWD Enhanced Social Welfare Program Act of 2014,” the DSWD shall be authorized to effectively and efficiently utilize funds from PCSO representing unclaimed lotto prizes for the enhancement and greater distribution of social welfare programs and benefits to targeted beneficiaries.
The DSWD in coordination with the PCSO is mandated to issue appropriate rules, regulations and guidelines to effectively implement the intent of this Act.