THE government-run Small Town Lottery (STL) is supposed to kill or stop illegal gambling in the
Philippines, particularly in the countryside where majority of the poor work and live.
But it is certainly disheartening to note that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
has been losing up to 30 percent of its potential income due to illegal gambling.
Of course, this is not surprising because illegal gambling operators are protected by some
corrupt police, barangay and local government authorities in some parts of the country.
It is public knowledge that in the past, many candidates seeking local posts emerged victorious
because of the financial support of known jueteng and other gambling lords.
“Talagang todo ang suporta ng mga gambling lord sa mga kandidato nila dahil sila naman ang
makikinabang kapag nasa puwesto na ang mga opisyal na ito,” lamented an irate farmer.
PCSO Chair Jose Jorge Corpuz said this is the main reason why its Authorized Agent Corporations
(AACs) find it difficult to meet their presumptive monthly retail receipt (PMRR) obligations.
In fact, some AACs have complained that illegal gambling continues to flourish in some parts of
the country, preventing them from fully meeting their obligations to the national government.
Corpuz told Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
and a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, that 72 AACs are currently operating in the country.
Another 20 AACs are expected to go into operation before the year ends, according to Corpuz, a
retired police general.
Doubtless, PCSO officials and well-meaning PNP authorities are keen on going after those who
continue to sabotage the government’s nationwide campaign against illegal gambling.