Erring STL operators will be terminated as PCSO strengthens IRR

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Alexander Balutan on Monday said the Board is strengthening the Small Town Lottery’s (STL) Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) in line with the President’s all-out war against illegal gambling and further improve the agency’s revenue collections.

Balutan said there will be a temporary slowing down of revenues from the STL because some Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) will be sanctioned and/or terminated for violations of the IRR.

“The revenue collections would be definitely affected by these changes as the PCSO Board has reviewed and revised the IRR to suit up with the prevailing situation,” Balutan said.

The PCSO earned almost P4 billion from its January-February STL collections from the current 85 STL corporations.

Balutan said some delinquent AACs will be terminated for repeated violations of the STL-IRR especially various cases of under-remittance of the Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR).

He refused to give the name of AACs that will be terminated.

“I do not want to pre-empt the collegial decision of the Board. What I can say for now is it is about time to revise the STL-IRR although it has been running only for more than a year. We’ve to strengthen the IRR to become effective in eradicating jueteng, masiao, swertres, peryahan ng bayan, and all forms of illegal numbers game,” Balutan said.

He explained though that the board will immediately open applications and to hasten the bidding process to replace the terminated AACs.

He also warned of the possible resurgence of illegal numbers game in areas where there will be temporary closure of STL operations.

Balutan said he is confident that sales will immediately pick up soon after new AACs will be on board with the new IRR.

“We are plugging the loopholes of the current IRR to strengthen our revenue collection. Some AACs are under declaring their PMMR and there seems to be flaws in the reporting system,” he said.

He admitted though that the board is now thinking of ways and means on how the PCSO could collect form these AACs that have a shortfall in their PMRR.

“If we immediately terminate their authority to play STL their company might just fold up and we can no longer collect from them. We must think of ways and means on how we could collect, after all, the money they owe is a debt to the government that needs to be collected,” he said.

He said that of the 85 AACs actively playing STL, majority is still “in good standing”. In 2017, the PCSO had approved 92 AACs, some were terminated in that year but these were immediately replaced.