Lower house files resolution to combat illegal gambling

As part of the initiatives to curb illegal numbers game in the country, the minority bloc at the House of Representatives will be filing a resolution to mandate the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to submit the number of employees hired monthly for the operations of small town lottery (STL).

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the resolution will seek to determine efficiency of the agency’s policies in combating illegal numbers game in the country especially with STL’s imminent expansion towards a 100-percent coverage.

During former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s administration, STL was introduced as solution to jueteng and other illegal numbers games.

The minority leader added that he sees its nationwide implementation as a means to raise revenues, increase employability, and fight corruption.

“The nationwide implementation of STL will not only earn the government billions but will also eradicate illegal gambling,” said Suarez.

He added that the PCSO can employ at least a million Filipinos “who may be considered less employable through traditional job fairs”.

“These citizens are most likely over-aged, lacking enough education, or former drug dependents. One million employees earning PHP200 a day totals to 73 billion in purchasing power, which encourages an underground economy. This is our preferred long-term effect,” he explained.

At present, there are 18 corporations operating STL nationwide which cover 38 percent of the country.

In a report presented by PCSO, the data shows that STL has generated revenues of PHP4.7 billion in 2014, PHP4.794 billion in 2015 and PHP1.231 billion in the first quarter of 2016.