The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) over the weekend clarified recent media reports that it has extended the licenses of PCSO Small-Town Lottery (STL) authorized agent corporations (AACs), saying that the extensions are still awaiting the approval of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
All STL “authority to operate” or licenses will expire on June 30 this year.
PCSO General Manager lawyer Jose Ferdinand Rojas 2nd said that the PCSO Board approved a three-month extension of operations of 19 STL AACs, “pending the approval of the President.”
The PCSO Board, in its Resolution 122 s. 2013, found “merit and sufficient legal basis” in the recommendation of the PCSO’s Online Lottery Sector, which monitors the operations of STL AACs, to extend the licenses because “their immediate termination will result in the proliferation of illegal bookies and illegal numbers games, decrease in the Charity Fund due to loss of sales of contribution and unemployment of the more than 140,000 bet collectors employed by the STL corporations.”
This interim extension was approved since PCSO is refining the final version of the PCSO Loterya ng Bayan game with the Office of the President.
There are presently 19 PCSO-accredited STL AACs operating in 14 out of the 81 provinces in the country, 17 of them in Luzon and two in the Visayas.
There are no STL operations in Mindanao.
STL AACs employ a total of 142,395 sales supervisors and agents, who in 2011 and 2012 helped annual STL gross revenues reach more than P4 billion, or P8 billion for those two years.
Income from STL operations allowed PCSO to pay off the previous PCSO Board’s tax arrears of P4 billion, besides contributing substantially to the agency’s Charity Fund that allocates financial assistance to individuals and institutions for medical- and healthcare-related concerns.