Tulfo calls for PCSO to give health benefits to small-time bet collectors
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Raffy Tulfo on Monday pressed the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) to provide health coverage to small-time bet collectors, locally known as kabos or kubraderos.
Tulfo, chair of the Senate committee on games and amusement, made the call as he expressed concern over these bet collectors who were allegedly suffering from health complications and lack of health and insurance benefits.
“Ang mga kabo po, sila po ‘yung literally gumagawa ng pera para sa STL (Small Town Lottery) operators, para sa PCSO na rin,” he said during the panel hearing.
“Umulan-uminit sila po’y babad sa labas at kumokolekta ng taya, habang ang mga STL operators ay nasa air-conditioned na kwarto, kaharap ang kanilang money counting machines habang pinagpapawisan ang mga kolektor at tao lang sila at nagkakasakit,” he also said.
PCSO Assistant General Manager Atty. Lauro Patiag answered, explaining that under the PCSO’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR), kabos are not employees of PCSO but of the authorized agent corporations or STL operators.
But Tulfo insisted that as employees of STL operators, the small-time bet collectors are still governed by Philippine labor laws.
He then urged the PCSO to compel STL operators to follow the rules of the Department of Labor and Employment and give health benefits to the small-time bet collectors.
Tulfo likewise pointed out that the PCSO’s IRR should have been made with the kabos in mind.
“Sana nung ginawa ninyo po ‘yang IRR, inisip ninyo po ‘yang pakanan ng inyong maliliit na manggagawa. Ang kinondiser ninyo lang ang magkano ang kikitain ng STL operators, magkano ang porsyento na kailangan nila i-entrega, at magkano dapat mapupunta sa PCSO,” he said.
Patiag, however, emphasized that kubradores (bet collectors) or kabos are not regular employees and that based on their current IRR, STL operators are responsible for their employees.
Nevertheless, the PCSO official assured Tulfo that the issue he raised is taken seriously and will be included in future PCSO IRR amendments.
Tulfo eventually asked the PCSO to create procedures and systems on how it can obligate STL operators to provide health benefits for every small-time bet collector. — MJ Soriano, trainee