PCSO firm on launching Loterya ng BayanBy Cathy Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Despite discouragement from senators, the current board of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is firm on its decision to launch the Loterya ng Bayan in place of small town lotto (STL).
The current revenues from STL for the first half of 2011 already amounted to “almost P2 billion,” said PCSO chairperson Margarita Juico during Tuesday morning’s hearing of the Senate blue ribbon panel, which is looking into alleged anomalies in the use of PCSO funds.
Committee chairman TG Guingona aired doubts whether the new Loterya can curb the illegal numbers game “jueteng” and on two instances suggested that “itigil na lang kaya natin (it be aborted),” referring to Loterya’s planned launch.
Senator Franklin Drilon complained that, as it is, the Philippines “is becoming a nation of gamblers” while Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said Loterya might only “increase the market” of available legal gambling facilities that jueteng operators can use to mask their enterprise.