Some authorized agent corporations or STL operators owe the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) about P5 billion in unpaid taxes.
This was unearthed during yesterday’s hearing of the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement chaired by Sen. Raffy Tulfo.
Sen. Robinhood Padilla inquired if STL operators paid taxes on their earnings.
PCSO chief of staff lawyer Lyssa Grace Pagano replied that “prior to 2020, it was P5 billion.
On that note, Padilla said the STL operators should not only be charged with civil liability, but also criminally for non-payment of taxes.
Padilla stressed that somebody should be held accountable because STL operators might claim went bankrupt to avoid paying taxes.
“They’re doing a hit and run…. after earning millions…They will shut down operations and move to another place and resume their activities,” Padilla surmised.
The senators directed the PCSO officials to submit a list of all STL operators and the names of their officials.
Even PCSO chairman Junie Cua sounded surprised with the discovery on the accountabilities of the STLs, saying he would discuss the matter with the PCSO board.
Tulfo also questioned the PCSO on why STL sales agents called “kabos” have no health benefits.
He said they’re bringing money to the STL operators and yet they were not taken care of.
“When they become sick, who will pay for their treatment? If they grow old, who will take care of them? Where will they get the money?” he asked.
PCSO assistant general manager Lauro Patiag said under the PCSO rules and regulations, the agents were not considered employees of the state-run firm, but rather workers of the PCSO franchise holders or licensees.