Senate questions PCSO’s ‘non-bidding’ for lottery machines
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Monday continued its investigation on Monday into the lease agreement between the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the Philippine Gaming Management Corporation – Berjaya (PGMC-Berjaya) for online lottery draw machines.
The transaction was described as “disadvantageous to the government” by former PCSO general manager Fernando Carrascoso during the continuation of the Senate probe on the the PCSO’s alleged misuse of funds.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile quizzed PCSO officials on their management decision to rent the machines at a cost of $147 million (USD), when it would have been ‘cheaper’ to buy these for $25 million (USD).
Former PCSO Chairman Manoling Morato said buying the machines was not viewed as an option at the time, “ as these would eventually become ‘obsolete’.
Former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte said they extended the contract with PGMC-Berjaya as they considered an upgrade on the system. The contract was renewed for another eight years, and cost $140 million (USD).
But Enrile said the process of picking the service provider should have gone through bidding. He grilled PCSO officials on why no public bidding for the machines was done after the contract with PGMC-Berjaya ended.
Uriarte said the lotto operations would have ground to a halt for a year if they had conducted a bidding for a new system.
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