Abolition of STL will do more harm, says cause-oriented group
A cause-oriented group asserted that abolishing small town lottery (STL) will do much harm citing that the Philippine Charity Sweepstake Office (PCSO) rely heavily on the gaming scheme for its financial needs to provide medical and other assistance to the poor.
In a press conference in Quezon City, the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment Inc. (FATE) said the STL has augmented millions of pesos to the coffers of the PCSO stressing that its possible elimination will be a great disservice to the public especially to the impoverish sector.
Benjamin Peralta of the FATE questioned the motive of PCSO Chairman Ireneo “Ayong’’ Maliksi in supporting the closure of the STL even if it is the main source of funds for the poor’s medical assistance.
He expressed fear that the STL might be replaced by another gaming scheme operated by Meriden Vista Gaming Corporation whose operator is reportedly a friend of Maliksi.
Although Maliksi has been known to be a respectable public servant, Peralta wants him to clear the air and explain the reason his preference to replace the STL with another gaming operation.
The group said that last May, the public was surprised and cowered with fear after Maliksi declared that the PCSO has no more funds.
Due to the internal rift at the PCSO, the group said that social workers have become demoralized after Maliksi allegedly made a statement that some beneficiaries were given preferential treatment.
Coming to the aid of the aggrieved social workers, Peralta denied the preferential treatment but admitted that some poor patients are brought to hospitals which are adequately equipped with facilities for rare diseases.
The group said turmoil inside the PCSO was further aggravated by Maliksi’s statement for his preference to do away with the STL despite being the main source of funds used for the medical needs of the country’s millions of poor patients.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.