Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairperson Margarita Juico has blamed the previous Arroyo administration for the criticisms that it is encouraging the proliferation of jueteng through its small-town lottery (STL), which is allegedly being used as a front for the illegal numbers game.
Juico blamed the STL irregularities on the past PCSO administration, which introduced the STL in 2010.
“The previous PCSO board test-piloted STL ostensibly to help eradicate jueteng, but for reasons of its own, the previous board regularized the operations of this experimental project and formulated a new set of IRR (implementing rules and regulations),” Juico said in a statement.
“This midnight order was kept secret from the STL operators and even from PCSO personnel who were supposed to implement the IRR,” she alleged.
She said the present PCSO board has not approved a single STL application since it took over two and a half years ago, “because of the severe limitations the STL IRR puts on our ability to monitor and take legal action.”
Not delaying contracts
She said that current STL contracts between PCSO and local agent-corporations will lapse in 2013.
Juico denied allegations that she was delaying the introduction of the new numbers game, the Loterya ng Bayan, that will replace the STL.
“The delay is actually a blessing in disguise. This way, we can thoroughly check if the applicant corporation for Loterya ng Bayan is ’hao shao’ (fake) or not, if they can afford it, if they are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission,” she said in a phone interview.
New game to launch
According to Juico, there are already 250 agent-corporation applicants for loterya operations. Twelve used to be STL operators in Luzon, she said.
“We will launch the new game that will replace STL the moment we receive the final version of the IRR from out legal officers. It is undergoing a comprehensive review and fine-tuning,” she said.
She also denied reports that the PCSO is requiring a P10 million paid-up capital for would-be operators of the loterya outlets. “We only ask for a P50,000 processing fee,” she said.