BACOLOD CITY: The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) ordered the closure of a lottery outlet here on Monday but the team sent to implement the order did not have the proper documents to enforce it.
Manuel Fraginal Sr., PCSO executive assistant and concurrent head of Inter-Branch Security Monitoring, said the Peryahan Draw Center on Burgos and Lacson streets in this city is “no longer authorized, thus [its operation is]illegal.”
Fraginal cited a certification that Alexander Balutan, PCSO general manager, issued on February 27, which declared all Peryahan ng Bayan operations in the country “unauthorized and illegal.”
Balutan issued the certification after Regional Trial Court Branch 161 in Pasig City, Metro Manila, denied Global Tech Mobile Online Corp.’s appeal for a writ of preliminary injunction on October 13, 2017.
Global Tech has been operating all peryahan centers in the Philippines.
Peryahan comes from the Spanish “feria” (fair).
Such fairs in the Philippines are usually found in rural areas and usually feature fun games.
The one in Bacolod opened in 2014 (and was previously located along Hilado Street) but in the same year PCSO terminated its operation.
It resumed doing business along Burgos and Lacson streets in March this year.
Fraginal said the peryahan violated Republic Act 9287, which increased penalties for all illegal numbers games.
He added that the peryahan also had dues of about P100 million.
Its closure, according to Fraginal, was in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 13 calling for an intensified campaign against illegal gambling.
The order sought to clarify the jurisdiction and authority of concerned agencies in the regulation and licensing of gambling and online gaming facilities.
Provincial administrator Lito Estember said they will not close the center and would wait for the advice of their legal counsel Marvin Tañada.