Almost P1.25 billion were lost from this year’s total revenue of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office after the operations of its small-town lottery were suspended for a month, PCSO general manager Royina Garma said Friday.
Garma, at the sidelines of the budget deliberation on the PCSO’s budget, said the amount represented around five percent of the agency’s projected 2019 total revenue of P25 billion.
For the first half of 2019, Garma said, more than half of the PCSO’s total revenue came from the STL.
Last July, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of all the PCSO’s gaming activities such as the STL, Keno, Peryahan ng Bayan and Lotto, among others.
In other developments:
• President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night lifted the suspension of STL operations, or a month since he stopped the PCSO’s gaming schemes over alleged massive corruption.
“We are happy to announce that pursuant to the recommendation of the PCSO, the President lifted the suspension of the operations of the STL, and the authorized agent corporations that are compliant with the conditions of their STL agency agreement,” Garma said in a video message posted on Facebook.
• The PCSO on Friday told legislators that the agency should be exempted from paying taxes for its charity programs, the provision of which was the principal thrust of the agency.
During the House deliberations on the PCSO’s 2020 budget, Garma said the agency paid over P16 billion in taxes while only P9 billion was set aside for charity.
In 2018, Garma said, P33.6 billion went to prizes, P16.7 billion went to tax payments and P9 billion funded the PCSO’s charity programs.
• The Philippine National Police on Friday said it would continue the intensified monitoring of the illegal numbers game following Duterte’s order lifting the suspension on the operations of the STL.
PNP spokesman Bernard Banac said authorities would be monitoring illegal numbers game including jueteng because “it may run parallel with or in guise of the STL.”
“We will not hesitate to haul violators to face charges if found committing illegal acts,” Banac said. With MJ Blancaflor