DAGUPAN CITY: Local executives in Pangasinan urged the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) to grant the franchise to operate the Small Town Lottery (STL) to a firm that would guarantee correct and full remittance of the agency share after the permit of its operator here was cancelled.
PCSO Chairman Alexander Balutan last month canceled the permit of Golden Go Rapid Gaming Corp. (GGRGC) after it failed to remit P655 million in agency share and filed for bankruptcy.
Balutan said the GGRGC failed to remit and attain its presumptive monthly retail receipt of at least P7.5 million daily or P225 million monthly and no settlement of sales shortfall has been made despite repeated demands.
The PCSO approved the firm’s franchise on April 28, 2017 but GGRGC has since failed to remit the agency share of the PCSO as of October 30, according to the Branch Operations Sector (BOS).
Mayor Ramon Guico 3rd of Binalonan town and president of the League of Municipalities-Pangasinan said they fully support the PCSO in its hospitalization program for indigent Filipinos.
Martin Raul Sison, a member of the Pangasinan provincial board, said the province has the highest amount of collections in the operation of STL with an estimated P15 to P17 million daily.
He wondered why the Golden Go Rapid Gaming Corp. authorized by the PCSO to operate faced bankruptcy and failed to remit the share of the charity agency.
All the mayors of Pangasinan asked the GGRGC management where it remits its daily collection.
The PCSO approved the franchise of the GGRGC on April 28 and, under their agreement, the group has to remit at least P7.5 million daily or P225 million monthly.
Michael Medado, PCSO board secretary, confirmed that on October 25, 2017, the board during its 20th regular board meeting held at Sun Plaza Building, Shaw Boulevard, in Mandaluyong City recommended the cancelation, revocation and termination of the permit of Golden Go Rapid Gaming Corporation, including the forfeiture of its cash bond to cover the sales shortfall of the Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC), pursuant to Sections 15 and 27 of the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations.
The GGRGC then filed a motion for reconsideration but it did not settle its obligations, asking for ample time to pay its remittances but it was rejected by the PCSO.
In another order issued by Balutan dated December 4, copy of which was obtained by The Manila Times, the GGRGC led by Geronima Choi, was informed that its motion for reconsideration in the termination of the STL operation has been denied for no valid reason and legal ground.
The request of the GGRGC for reconsideration was denied and its STL operation in the province of Pangasinan was terminated with finality pursuant to Board Resolution No. 0287, Series of 2017.
Balutan also issued an order that the cash bond posted by the GGRGC in favor of the PCSO amounting to P225,000.000 shall be forfeited to cover payment of its sales shortfall, which shall be computed after the submission of its sales report.
The town mayors of Pangasinan are planning to enact a resolution calling for investigation and accounting of the GGRGC collection, claiming that the non-remittance of such collection affected the share of their towns.
STL operation in Mapandan town has ceased.
On December 12, Senior Insp. Bernard Antolin, the provincial intelligence branch led by Supt. Leo Senense and anti-gambling task force head Supt. Marceliano Desamito Jr. conducted operations resulting in the arrest of five bet collectors and four cabos on December 12.
Similar operations were also conducted in the cities of Dagupan, Urdaneta, San Carlos and Alaminos and 44 towns.
On December 21, the same operatives launched anti-gambling operations in San Jacinto town, resulting in the arrest of nine personnel allegedly working for retired Army major Efren Fajardo.
Fajardo is the provincial administrator of the GGRGC and admitted that the operation of the group was already illegal since December 10 when Balutan denied their motion for reconsideration.
Majority members of the GGRGC board denounced the management of the group, saying they were only used as decorations and they did not receive a single centavo share from the income of the business.
Four members of the board who asked The Manila Times to not name them said their names were only placed by their president Lyn Ang, who also paid their registration and capital share fees to make it appear that the GGRGC is entitled to secure registration certificate from the Securities and Exchange Commission in Baguio City.
They asked the PCSO to examine the records of the GGRGC business so that they can also know their income because they have not yet received any document or statement of accounts pertaining to the operation of the business.
“What we only know is that our group will support President [Rodrigo] Duterte’s anti- corruption, [anti-]crime and [anti-]gambling drive and we are not really aware that we are [a]operating numbers game in Pangasinan” the four board directors said.
They added that they will cooperate with the PCSO when the agency starts an audit of the GGRGC collection