PCSO: STL in Pangasinan, still work in progress

LINGAYEN—An official of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said the Small Town Lottery (STL) in Pangasinan is still a work in progress because the Authorized Agent Corporation (ACC) is just barely six months in operation and has not failed to meet its obligation, including its monthly remittance receipts.

This was the clarification made by Remeliza Gabuyo, PCSO assistant general manager for branch operations, said on June 18 during the Question Hour of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) in connection with the continuing inquiry on alleged irregularities in the operations of the STL in Pangasinan.

But Speed Gaming Inc. again did not send a representative to respond to questions about its operations.

Gabuyo said the PCSO allows its ACC to have a test run for one year and it is regularized for three years if its operation has been deemed satisfactory.

Speed Gaming as the new ACC, replaced Golden Go Rapid Corporation that operated only for nine months from January to September 2017 for failing to remit P100 million monthly.

Gabuyo said Speed Gaming started its operation in January this year and was given P117 million monthly quota. She revealed for the past five months in operation, it managed to remit an amount close to its quota only once.

She said the ACC failed to meet its target because of the alleged illegal operation of “Peryahan ng Bayan” in some towns, including bookies that collected bets but did not remit to the ACC.

On the insistence of mayors that Speed Gaming must secure business permit from Local Government Units (LGUs), Gabuyo cited a Supreme Court decision that exempts ACCs from securing business permits being extensions of the PCSO.

On the complaint that Speed Game has not been transparent, Gabuyo said she will endorse the recommendation of Second District Board Member Nestor Reyes to the PCSO board that a representative of the LGU be allowed daily inside the STL betting station to ensure that the town is getting its rightful three percent share as provided for in the STL’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).

On the claim that sales supervisors (cabos) and sales agents (kubradores) only get five percent share instead of seven percent as provided for in the IRR, Gabuyo said it is the prerogative of the PCSO to set difference rates.

On the charge that STL in Pangasinan is played by the numbers from 1 to 40 instead of 1 to 38 as played in Pampanga, Gabuyo said it is the prerogative of the local ACC.

She asked the SP to be more patient with PCSO because it now oversees 83 ACCs, from the original 18 and lacks personnel to fully supervise ACCs.

The SP’s committees on Laws and Ordinances and Games and Amusement, will hold one more hearing on the STL.  (Leonardo Micua)

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