Opinion: PCSO Have Plans to Stop STL Operations?
ORDER HAS NOT YET BEEN ISSUED. There arose a brewing controversy regarding the Small Town Lottery (STL), in which it has been bruited about that it would be totally scrapped in favor of the Loterya ng Bayan. This has elicited a reaction primarily from provincial government executive assistant, Manolet Escalante who said it is not true. But highly-reliable sources have, indeed, stated that it is to be scrapped in favor of Loterya. This has been confirmed by two Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO) officials who aver that indeed, it will be replaced by the Loterya.
It is said that government has been losing from its STL operations and that it is being used to legitimize illegal jueteng or daily double operations which is really true. But collectors sport the STL identification cards so as not to be apprehended. Jueteng, highly-reliable sources said, get more income from the illegal numbers game and operators are not remitting what is due the national government and that it is a losing proposition although as a whole, the net income it has remitted last year was P4-B, but less than what jueteng operators earn.
PCSO GENERAL MANAGER FERDINAND ROJAS’ DECLARATION. Ferdinand Rojas, in a declaration, said PCSO’s replacement, Loterya ng Bayan is supposed to replace STL but it hasn’t started yet. Several government officials including retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said jueteng is being used as a front of the STL. There are talks, according to Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, that the government would cease operating STL and not operate PCSO’s Loterya ng Bayan. Talks have been circulating but denied by Escalante, provincial government executive assistant that STL will continue to be operated. So which is which? It is, therefore, not known which is true or not—that Loterya will replace STL or which to be believed. But again on Rojas, he averred that STL will continue to operate and that Loterya ng Bayan will be operated, too.
In an earlier interview, Margarita Juico of PCSO said, they will operate Loterya. Illegal gambling operations, she added, would be kept out of Loterya. Juico said they are not going to stop STL and Loterya citing the interest of poor people as a reason. Besides, the P4-B remitted by STL operators are being used to pay off the debts of the old PCSO administration. She said they cannot just stop STL or their cash flow would become empty.
BOTH TO GO ON. With Juico’s statement, it is now clear that STL will continue and that Loterya ng Bayan will be operational, too.
Government has seen STL as money-making and believes Loterya will earn easy money for government, too.
This also means that if we go by Juico’s statement, they will only add on by authorizing Loterya ng Bayan’s operations.
Police officials, probably in order to intensify STL and later, Loterya’s income-generating objective will conduct anti-illegal gambling drives.
Thus, basing on the higher PCSO officer, Margie Juico, STL is to continue operating and Loterya, too, soon.*