AREAS where illegal numbers games continue to thrive will soon be gone with expansion of the Small Town Lottery (STL) of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz of the PCSO on Tuesday said the agency is evaluating applications of 35 new agent corporations that seek to operate under the expanded STL in various parts of the country.
“There are additional 35 areas still unsigned with AACs [Authorized Agent Corporations] that are presently being evaluated by the STL-Supervision and Monitoring Group. After that, we can say that the whole country is now with STL,” Corpuz said.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan noted that the approval of the 35 new AACs is expected to further boost the state-run charitable institution’s revenue collection to be used in providing medical assistance to poor Filipinos.
The move, he said, was in accordance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to produce revenues to buy medicines for the needy.
The expanded STL was launched last January with 56 approved AACs and is expected to generate at least P27 billion this year.
“Our actions are part of the previous arrangement on instruction of the President for us to produce money for this government for charitable services,” Balutan said.
The PCSO general manager also noted that if approved, the STL would have a total of 91 AACs this year that would also produce almost a million jobs for ordinary Filipinos.
Balutan said one of the objectives of the expanded STL is to eliminate the “underground economy” perpetuated by gambling lords who rob the government of billions of pesos in taxes.
“The directive of the President is to stop illegal gambling in line with his aggressive all-out war against corruption,” he added.
Among the areas being evaluated are Western District of Manila in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila); Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); Ilocos Sur in Region 1; Batanes and Quirino in Region 2; Aurora in Region 3; Palawan and Romblon in Region 4B; Catanduanes and Masbate in Region 5; Capiz and Guimaras in Region 6; Siquijor and Cebu City in Region 7; Eastern Samar, Western Samar and Biliran in Region 8; Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay in Region 9; Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental in Region 10; Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostella Valley and Davao Occidental in Region 11; Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani in Region 12 ; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Island in Caraga; Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; and Cotabato City.