THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Thursday urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) to fulfill its responsibility to eradicate all forms of illegal numbers games and protect the operation of the state-sanctioned Small Town Lottery (STL).
“To the Philippine National Police [PNP], we agreed to be partners in the battle against all forms of illegal gambling. Let’s translate that Memorandum of Agreement we both signed last November 22, 2016 into a concrete action,” PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said.
Under the agreement, the PNP agreed to step up the fight against illegal gambling. In return, the PCSO will give the PNP a share of 2.5 percent of its earnings.
“I am determined to wage war against gambling lords and their coddlers and I hope you’re with me,” Balutan said.
He earlier expressed disappointment with the supposed seriousness of the PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, to stamp out illegal gambling such as jueteng, an illegal numbers game, that continues to mess up the monthly revenue collection of the STL.
“I am disappointed and dismayed by their performance,” the retired Marine general said.
According to Balutan, illegal numbers games are still rampant in some areas competing with STL games being operated by PCSO’s authorized agent corporations (AACs).
To date, the PNP has received P154 million from the PCSO.
Based on the PCSO’s monitoring and reports from AACs, some local police officials allegedly continue to receive payolas from gambling lords who operate the illegal numbers game.
The PCSO official warned erring police officials to stop using gambling lords to sabotage STL operations instead of convincing these financiers to go legal.
Balutan said the PCSO has generated more than P24 billion from its different gaming products.
“That is 32.38 percent higher compared to the same period in 2016 with more than P18 billion,” he noted.
“A total of 184, 907 Filipinos nationwide have benefited from our individual medical assistance program or a 48.24 percent increase from the last year, with P3.55 billion amount allocated. Our medical and dental programs have served 2,528 individuals and we donated medicines to 37 beneficiaries from January to June,” the PCSO official said.
Balutan added that the agency has allotted P50 million worth of medical equipment to the poorest provinces.
“A total of 202 ambulances were distributed nationwide worth more than P157 million,” he said.
Balutan added that the PCSO earned P6.17 billion from January to June, or an increase of 149.36 percent as against the same period in 2016.
“In other words, our STL is earning more than P1 billion a month,” he said.
“Our expanded STL resulted in legitimate jobs for 206,181 STL employees, a 71.03 percent increase from last year. Of the said total, 192, 098 are filed sales representatives/agents [kubrador], while 14,803 of them are filed sales supervisors [cabos]. Your PCSO also shared from its Charity Fun, more than P426 million to offices in the congressional districts [P31,934, 964.92] or 0.25 percent; cities and towns [P185, 289, 115.94] or 3.0 percent; police stations [P154, 402, 103.11] or 2.5 percent; and provincial governments [P54,569, 381,61] or 0.75 percent as required by the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations,” the PCSO official added.
NEIL A. ALCOBER