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PCSO: Duterte lifts suspension on STL, sets condition for agencies

/ 08:48 PM August 22, 2019

LOTTERY CONTROVERSY According to Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, the nonpayment of a player’s winnings may have angered President Duterte, who ordered the Small Town Lottery—a drawing of which is shown in the file photo above—lotto and other games operated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office suspended last week. The President has since allowed lotto operations to resume. STL and the other games remain suspended. —JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted the suspension on the small town lottery (STL) operations, Philippine Charity for Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Royina Garma said.

In a video posted on Facebook on Thursday, Garma, however, noted that there are conditions laid out for agencies seeking continuous operations.

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“Pursuant to the recommendations of the Philippine Charity for Sweepstakes Office, the President lifted the suspension of operations of STL authorized agent corporations that are compliant with the conditions of their STL agency agreement and has been remitting its guaranteed minimum retail receipts,” she said.

According to Garma, one of the conditions is for Authorized Agent Corporations (AAC) to deposit a cash bond “equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed minimum monthly [retail] receipts (GMMRR).”

“[This is] on top of their existing cash bonds,” Garma explained.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed this development in an interview with DZMM on Thursday night.  According to him, the suspension would be lifted after the announcement is published on national publications.

“‘Yong suspension sa STL operations will be lifted by the President immediately after the publication of the implementing rules and regulations,  There are certain conditions na ‘yong mga compliant will have to fulfill,” Panelo said.

“At ‘yong mga non-compliant ‘din, kailangan meron din silang gagawin, may mga kondisyon,” he added.

Panelo said the announcement and the conditions may be published on Monday.

In Garma’s announcement, another condition mentioned would be the forfeiture of these cash bonds, if the AACs do not remit their share to government on time.

Another condition would be the forfeiture of these cash bonds if the AACs do not remit their share to the government on time.

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“Second condition, upon failure to timely and fully remit their GMMRR during the duration of their operations, the AACs cash bonds equivalent to three months […] shall be automatically forfeited in the favor of the PCSO, without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government,” Garma explained.

“Third condition, each AAC shall execute a written undertaking that it shall comply with its obligations under the STL-agency agreement, and will not institute any claims, monetary or otherwise against the government, and/ or apply a temporary restraining order from any court to prevent the government from exercising its rights and prerogatives,” she added.

Garma also said that under the new conditions, AACs who would violate the conditions would be stripped of their STL agency agreement.

“The foregoing conditions shall be applied to other AACs that may be allowed to resume operations,” she said.

Last July 2019, Duterte suspended all of PCSO’s gaming operations, due to allegations of massive corruption in the office.  This ban was eventually lifted, although only on Lotto games.  STL, Keno, and Peryahan ng Bayan remained suspended then.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Panelo said “the suspension on STL will be lifted upon compliance of certain conditions.”

He also echoed Garma’s announcement that “compliant franchise holders will have to give three months deposit,” and “those non-compliant will have to pay their arrears.”

Panelo said Duterte ordered that there would be waiver from suits.

“There will be a waiver from suits. Franchise holders cannot sue. The effectivity will be after the publication of the implementing rules and regulations,” he said.

“Any violation of any of the conditions contained in the implementing rules and regulations will mean revocation of the license to operate the STL,” he added. With a report from Nestor Corrales

READ: PCSO suspends gaming activities; execs may appeal to Duterte

READ: PCSO resumes Lotto games, draws after Duterte lifts

READ: BREAK: Suspension of Lotto operations lifted – Panelo 

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TAGS: General Manager Royina Garma, PCSO, Philippine Charity for Sweepstakes Office, Philippine news updates, President Rodrigo Duterte, Small Town Lottery, STL
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