Wednesday, 7th October 2015

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By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE GAMBLING continues.

This was the clarification made by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Iloilo amidst reports that Small Town Lottery (STL) operations in Iloilo City were terminated due to alleged violations by its franchisee.

In a statement, PCSO-Iloilo chief lottery operations officer Janet B. Fabiana said their higher management has not ordered the stoppage of STL operation in the city.

“For the general knowledge, please be informed that as of this date PCSO management has not issued any order for the cessation of STL operations in the city of Iloilo,” Fabiana said in a one-page statement dated February 13.

Fabiana, however, was not available for a follow-up interview to get more details of her statement.

PCSO-Iloilo issued the statement days after Iloilo Small Town Lottery Gaming Corp. (ISTLGC), the STL franchisee in the city, clarified the supposed violations it committed relative to STL operations.

In a letter dated January 16, 2012, PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II told ISTLGC to explain certain infractions of STL guidelines issued in 2005 and 2010.

Among the supposed violations are:

- failure to submit daily sales reports under oath;

- failure to submit periodic reports of daily, weekly, and monthly sales as well as reports on commissions, remittances, prizes disbursed, operation cost and other expenses;

- mismanagement of accounting and auditing records while failing to give its employees the proper benefits including not paying the mandated PhilHealth and Social Security System (SSS) contributions;

- failure to comply with the rules on PCSO’s correct share in the revenue collection;

- failure to comply rules on the maintenance of the proper books and records of accounts in accordance with generally accepted principles of accounting and auditing;

- failure to remit the correct sharing percentage of revenue allocation to PCSO.

ISTLGC lawyer Rex Muzones said they have answered Rojas letter and they continue to operate as no cease and desist order was issued.

The PCSO is planning to phase out STL and replace it with Loterya ng Bayan following STL’s failure to curb illegal numbers games in the country.

The PNP, which receives a share of STL revenues, earlier said illegal gambling still persists because legitimate collectors also moonlight for bookies or underground gambling operators who offer better commissions compared to the legalized games.


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