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Ex-Quezon official scores delay of PCSO lottery implementation

LUCENA CITY—A former provincial board member has hit the delayed implementation of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes 

Office (PCSO) Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) in Quezon, resulting to the government’s losing an estimated income of P30 billion.

Lawyer Sonny Pulgar, ex-Fourth District board member, said the government has lost P30 billion in revenues since July 2010 as the PCSO expects to earn an annual net revenue of between P10 billion and P12 billion from the operation of the PLB.

“The rationale of discarding the Small Town Lottery [STL] is precisely to increase revenue.  As a matter of fact, the PCSO has announced that with the introduction of the PLB, the charity agency expects to muster P10-billion to P12-billion annual net revenue from the operations of this refurbished local lottery. In other words, from the time the PLB was announced in the latter part of 2010, the government has been poorer by about P30 billion in lost revenues,” said Pulgar.

The former Quezon provincial board member is an advocate of several local public issues and interests in the province such as the collection by the provincial government of the billion pesos in realty taxes from the two Quezon power plants and his opposition to the proposed division of the province in 2003 and 2008.

Pulgar said STL operators already lost their contracts with the PCSO on June 30, but applicants for the PLB franchise have not yet been given the “go signal” to actually operate since the PLB was announced in the latter part of 2010.

Pulgar blamed Secretary Paquito Ochoa of the Office of the President for sitting on the implementing rules and regulations of the PLB even as President Aquino himself announced in September 2012 and May 2013 right after the elections that the PLB would be finally launched and awardees with their specific franchise areas within congressional districts and cities nationwide shall be disclosed without further delay.

“The PCSO has announced another extension of the STL.  A question can be asked: Who benefits from all of this delay and extensions of the STL?” asked Pulgar.

Pulgar said PLB applicants have complied with the PCSO requirements such as paying the P50,000 application fee; the establishment and registration of local gaming corporations with authorized capital of P50 million before the Securities and Exchange Commission; paid-up capital of P10 million; sprucing up PLB local offices with a minimum of 100 square meters and spending rentals for the last three years and hiring administrative staff to run the day-to-day business.

Prior to February 2011, the PCSO announced the scrapping of the STL because underreporting of gross revenues and reduced income from its operations resulted to “prejudice” for the government.

 

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