"And is this not because of Peryahan ng Bayan?"
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Royina Garma a few weeks ago surprisingly allowed the resumption of operation of Peryahan ng Bayan, which was ordered closed few years ago by her predecessor, Alexander Balutan for failing to remit taxes to PCSO.
It will be recalled that President Duterte ordered to stop all forms of gaming under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) control, pending investigation of massive corruption. But now that all state-sponsored gambling are back, the addition of the Peryahan ng Bayan intrigues the public.
Some people are asking if this other type of numbers game is meant to dislodge the favorite of “probinsiyanos
,” which is Small Town Lottery (STL).
For this reason, the Committee on Games and Amusement, headed by Rep. Eric Yap, of the ACT-CIS Party-list, will be conducting an inquiry starting Dec. 13 to find out why GM Garma unceremoniously gave the go-ahead for Peryahan ng Bayan to resume its operations nationwide when, in fact, its operator still owes the government hundreds of millions of pesos.
Highly reliable sources in Congress say that subpoenas have been sent to Garma and several key officers of PCSO, Chito Manalac, the sole owner and operator of Peryahan ng Bayan, and key STL operators.
Sources claim, aside from allowing Peryahan to operate again even with hundreds of millions debt with the state, the lawmakers want to find out from Garma herself as to why she is allowing Peryahan Ng Bayan to operate when it will directly compete, and possible “kill the STL.”
STL operators complain that Peryahan ng Bayan has a very small Paid Monthly Remittance Rate (PMMR) compared to the STL.
PMMR is the dividend paid by each licensed operator per province monthly to PCSO.
Records submitted by some STL operators to Congress show Peryahan only remits P1.5 million a month to PCSO while STL delivers P38 million as its PMMR for Pangasinan province alone.
STL operators claim PCSO makes more money from STL than Peryahan ng Bayan.
They wonder what made Garma allow the resumption of Peryahan when the government is not making money from it, and it will definitely kill STL, which generates a lot of income for PCSO?
PCSO reportedly did not even hold public consultation among the stakeholders.
I guess Garma has a lot of explaining to do. The public is waiting.