The expanded operations of Small Town Lottery (STL) brought remarkable earnings at P15,750,895,045 in the year 2017 with a 183.63 percent increase from P6,462,304,820 in 2016.
It opened 280,722 jobs. In 2016, the recorded number of jobs in STL was 173,861.
As noted by PCSO, 12,097 are organic employees; 19,874 are kabos; and 248,000 are bet collectors.
“May nadagdag na 106,861 katao. Kasama sa mga naempleyo ang mga mamamayan natin na senior citizen na at merong kapansanan at kabataang nakapagkaitan ng edukasyon pero gustong kumita ng marangal makaiwas lamang sa ilegal na aktibidad at kriminalidad. Dahil ang STL ay ang tanging legal numbers game sa bansa, entitled din ang mga STL employees sa mga benepisyo gaya ng SSS (106,861 people were added. Included in those we employed are senior citizens with disabilities and the uneducated youth who want to earn honorably to avoid illegal activity and criminality. Because STL is the only legal numbers game in the country, STL employees are entitled to benefits such as SSS),” the PCSO general manager said.
“Para sa atin, ang kahulugan ng STL ay Serbisyo, Trabaho, Laro (For us, the meaning of STL is Service, Work, Games),” he added.
According to PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, the agency went through challenges to achieve the initial reward against jueteng, pares, swertres, masiao and all the other illegal games prominent in the country.
“Bagaman meron nang naaprubahan na 92 Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) na maglaro ng STL, hindi pa lahat ito ay naglalaro sa ilang kadahilanan gaya ng kailangan nilang ayusin ang kanilang pasilidad at sistema sang-ayon sa itinatakda ng Implementing Rules and Regulations or IRR (Though there are 92 AACs approved to play STL, not all of them are able to operate due to reasons such as they need to improve their facilities and system in accord with the requirements of the IRR),” Corpuz said.
GM Balutan said that since the designation of the new leadership of PCSO, there have been many changes including the continuous improvement of PCSO’s good image from the corruption of the past administrations.
“Organizationally, trinabaho natin ito para dalhin ang ahensiya sa pangarap ng ating Pangulong Duterte na dapat corrupt-free ito at gawing mabisa at epektibong ahensiya ng gobyerno para magpasulpot ng sapat na pondo sa pamamagitan ng lottery games nito upang matustusan ang libreng gamot at ospitalisasyon ng mga nagangailangan lalo na ang mga kapus-palad nating kababayan (Organizationally, we worked to bring the agency toward the dream of the President that it must be corrupt-free and to make it an efficient agency of the government to generate sufficient funds through its lottery games to provide free medicine and hospitalization of those in need especially our unfortunate countrymen),” Balutan said.
‘STL of gambling lords’
On record, since the launch of STL in 2006, the earnings were fixed only from P4.7B to P5B.
“Remember, nang dumating tayo sa PCSO ay 18 na AAC lamang ang naglalaro. Pinag-aralan ng Board at kinapa natin kung bakit 18 lamang ang naglalaro at nakita natin na kontrolado ang sistema nito ng malalaking gambling lord (Remember, when we arrived in PCSO, there were only 18 operating AACs. The Board studied it and we determined why only 18 are operating and we found out that the system is controlled by big gambling lords),” Balutan narrated.
“Napasok ng mga gambling lord ang sistema ng STL kaya napako ito sa 18 na AAC. Ayaw ng mga gambling lord na mag-boom ang STL dahil papatayin nito ang kanilang jueteng, swertres, masiao, pares at iba pang mukha ng illegal numbers game (Gambling lords penetrated the STL system that’s why it was stuck to 18 AACs. The gambling lords didn’t want STL to prosper because it will terminate their jueteng, swertres, masiao, pares and other facades of illegal numbers game),” he said.
Balutan also explained that in such setting, it is the illegal numbers game that triumphs because it is controlled by gambling lords together with their accomplices who are officials of the government.
“Ayaw nila i-expand, dagdagan, o palawakin ang STL sa mga probinsiya kung saan malakas ang jueteng at iba dahil talagang matatalo ang mga gambling lord na ito. Wala na silang mapagkukunan pa ng pam-payola nila sa mga inaalagaan nilang korap na opisyal para tuloy ang kanilang ilegal na gawain kung ang STL ang siyang mananaig (They refuse to expand, add, and widen STL in provinces where jueteng, etc. are prevalent as gambling lords will truly lose. They won’t have a source for the bribes for the corrupt officials that enable their illegal activities to continue if STL prevails),” Balutan said.
Last February 2017, PCSO launched its expanded STL. The 18 AACs became 56 until the addition of even more AACs was approved. Hence, it became 92.
Presently, there are 83 AACs operating in 63 provinces and 21 AACs in the city. There are five in the National Capital Region, 21 in Northern Central Luzon, 16 in Southern Tagalog-Bicol Region, 20 in Visayas and 21 in Mindanao.
During May last year, STL gained an average earning of more than P1B.
A notorious gambling lord in the country immediately protested and stated that PCSO attempts to increase its earnings because its supposed earnings is only P600M.
In November, Balutan reported to the public that when the earnings for the said month was reaching P1.7B, the gambling lord stated that the earnings should have been P5B to P6B.
Balutan mentioned that said gambling lord pockets P2.37B per month from jueteng and pares. With the increase in the number of AAC and expansion of STL operations, said gambling lord’s area narrowed.
“Simple lang, kung sa estimasyon natin ay kumikita noon ang jueteng ng P2.37B kada buwan at ngayon ay tumatabo na ang STL ng P1.7B, konti na lamang abot na natin ang kinikita ng gambling lord na ito. Dahan-dahan nang mamamatay ang kanyang jueteng (It’s simple. If our estimation says jueteng earns P2.37B before every month and STL earns P1.7B now, we will reach the earnings of said gambling lord soon. Their jueteng will slowly perish),” Balutan explained.
Jueteng or illegal gambling goes directly to the gambling lords and their protectors without tax. Meanwhile, STL is able to pay taxes amounting P7.7B.
There are still government sectors that protect illegal gambling in exchange for bribes.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between PCSO and PNP assigns the police as the foremost law enforcing agency against jueteng. But it still lacks in fulfilling its role to exterminate illegal gambling because of the influence of the gambling lords’ bribes.
“Dahil mistah naman natin ang dating Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retired General Eduardo Año ay madali na lamang ang koordinasyon ng ating tanggapan at ng kanyang tanggapan kapag ang usapan ay kung paano igigiya sa tamang istratehiya at pagkilos ang kapulisan laban sa illegal gambling. Tama na ang lokohan sa laban ng ating Pangulo kontra jueteng at iba pa. Ang ating objective ngayon ay i-expose kung sinu-sino ang mga gambling lord na ito na ayaw ma-legal. Tutumbukin natin sila mismo, hulihin at kasuhan sa korte (Because the former Armed Forces of the Philippines retired General Eduardo Año is our mistah, it will be easy for our office to coordinate with their office regarding how to gear the police toward the right strategy against illegal gambling. The deception in the President’s battle against jueteng, etc. must stop. Our objective now is to expose the gambling lords’ identities who refuse to be legalized. We will identify them, catch them, and file cases against them in court),” Balutan said.
Año has been recently appointed by President Duterte as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Balutan said that the PNP must protect the STL operations because it brings a huge sum to the funds of the Duterte administration.
Besides PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was also included to fight against all kinds of illegal gambling.
PCSO has also coordinated with PNP for its assistance.
“Marami ang hindi nakakaalam na mamamayan na ang biyaya mula sa STL ay may mga ahensiya din ng ating pamahalaan na nakikinabang (Many people do not know that there government agencies that benefits from the blessings of STL),” Balutan said.
PCSO provided support amounting to P1,120,107,100.02 in total in 2017 for cities, districts, provinces, PNP, including the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Malaki ang itinaas ng STL share ng mga ahensiyang ito ng gobyerno dahil noong 2016 ay P643,929,664.08 lamang ang share (The STL share of these agencies increased greatly because the share was only P643,929,664.08 last 2016),” Balutan said.
Based on the 2017 catalog of PCSO, PNP received P314,948,433.41 (P166,559,404.87 in 2016); CIDG – P78,737,108.35 (P13,654,869.87 in 2016); Provinces – P150,280,559.67 (P76,452,267.50 in 2016); Cities – P472,422,650.12 (P343,122,378.44 in 2016); and Districts – P103,718,348.47 (P44,140,743.40 in 2016).
“Sa Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) ng STL, kada buwan na ibinibigay ng PCSO ang share ng bawat ahensiyang ito sa pamamagitan ng tseke. Kung paano nila gastusin ay prayoridad sana ang ayuda sa medikal ng kanilang miyembro at mamamayan. Ang pamamaraan ng paggasto ng pondong yan ay sakop ng Commission on Audit (COA). Ibig sabihin, bawat singko na iyong nagasto ay suportado ng kaukulang official receipt at dokumento (In the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of STL, PCSO gives it share to these agencies every month in the form of cheques. In their expenses, hopefully the priority is to support the medical needs of their members and people. Their expenses are monitored by the Commission on Audit (COA). Which means, every cent of your expenses is supported by official receipts and documents),” Balutan explained.
“Isa pa, ang pondong yan ay diretso sa kanilang treasury office (Also, that fund goes straight to their treasury office),” he added.
PCSO REPORTORIAL TEAM