Lawmaker hits, questions PCSO's online lotto deal  | Inquirer News

Lawmaker hits, questions PCSO’s online lotto deal 

/ 04:46 PM January 22, 2024

PCSO online lotto


MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has asked the Houseof Representatives committee on public accounts to initiate a probe on the contract entered into by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) with a private firm operating the e-lotto innovation.

Barbers mentioned in House Resolution (HR) No. 1547 that PCSO General Manager Melquiades Robles apparently implemented the contract for the e-lotto platform despite the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) not agreeing with an immediate implementation.


“It is now becoming clear that even without the approval by the OGCC, Robles proceeded with the implementation of the contract. I hope he has a valid reason for doing so despite the findings by the OGCC that such contract is disadvantageous to the government, therefore violative of the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” Barbers said in a statement.


“With this alone, Robles has put the PCSO in a bind and exposed it to lawsuits. Instead of heeding the OGCC call, he threw all cautions to the wind and wantonly implemented the contract,” he added.

Barbers reclaled that a lone winner won the recent 6/49 jackpot worth around P640 million. 

The winner placed the bet through the e-lotto platform, operated through a contract with a Pacific Online Systems Corporation.

Barbers added that the memorandum of agreement signed between PCSO and Pacific Online Systems Corporation “clearly falls within the purview of 2023 Revised Guidelines and Procedures for Entering into Joint Venture Agreements between Government and Private Entities” — which means OGCC has a say in the issue.

“Whereas, the OGCC having had the chance to review the proposal submitted by Pacific Online Systems Corporation in connection with its web-based application betting platform (WABP) submitted to PCSO, already took notice of several disadvantageous conditions therein,” Barbers said.

Last January 18, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means conducted a hearing in response to complaints from lotto outlet franchisees and lotto agents that they are losing income — or even closing shop — due to PCSO’s introduction of the e-lotto platform last December 2023.


Senator Raffy Tulfo lashed out at the PCSO for implementing its digital betting platform without getting approval from authorities first, particularly the Office of the President (OP).

Robles, however, said that Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin allowed PCSO to determine the need for an online platform for lotto since it is more knowledgeable about this matter.

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Tulfo, however, countered that the Executive Secretary might have refrained from making this memorandum if he knew that OGCC issued its own opinion.

TAGS: lotto, online, PCSO, Robert Ace Barbers

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