The Duterte government should consider privatizing the operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office if it wants to eliminate corruption within the State gaming agency, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian suggested yesterday.
Gatchalian said this would help ensure that proceeds from gaming operations will be remitted properly.
“An alternative to the total banning of gaming activities operated, licensed, and franchised by the PCSO would be for the government to just let the private sector operate lottos and casinos and then collect guaranteed proceeds,” Gatchalian said.
“The proceeds should be remitted directly to the Department of Social Welfare and Development to fund social service programs. This way we can avoid mishandling of funds that are supposed to be allocated to help the poor,” he said.
“I-privatize na lang ang operation ng PCSO. Sa ganitong paraan, pwedeng ipagpatuloy ang operation ng lotto, maiiwasan at matitigil na ang corruption sa gobyerno, at magkakaroon pa ang gobyerno ng siguradong kita na magagamit sa pagtulong sa mga kapos-palad nating kababayan,” Gatchalian added.
Senate President Tito Sotto said the shutdown order is only temporary. “I think he is shutting down the franchises. It can always open once the corruption is unearthed and cleansed.”
Sen. Ping Lacson sees wisdom in the President’s order as the PCSO has been hounded by a corruption problem.
“When the regular ‘jueteng’ collections of at least P200 million per day, or P73 bilion a year in the NCR, CAR, and Regions 1 to 5 alone translate to a mere P4-billion income for the PCSO from STL operations, a big chunk of which is not even in cash remittances but recorded as collectibles, do not need Albert Einstein to figure out how much goes to the individual pockets of STL franchise holders, corrupt politicians, policemen, and PCSO officials,” Lacson said.
“No matter how many congressional hearings are conducted, the palms of these people continue to be greased by gambling money,” Lacson pointed out.
“The fact is, illegal jueteng merely masquerades as legitimate STL operations, seven days a week, without fail, whose ‘kubrador’ are armed with PCSO IDs to avoid arrest by the police who may be co-opted anyways.” (Hannah Torregoza)