PCSO opens applications for city, provincial STL operations

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Takers, anyone?

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has invited parties interested to operate the Small Town Lottery (STL) in 38 areas in the country, including the city and province of Iloilo, to submit their applications.

PCSO general manager Royina Garma declared the opening of STL applications “pursuant to the instructions of the PCSO Board of Directors.”

Garma said PCSO shall receive the applications starting Feb 5, 2020 until 3 p.m. of Mar 5, 2020.

The Guaranteed Minimum Monthly Retail Receipts (GMMRR) shall be based on the 2019 voting population of the 38 areas.

The GMMRR is the revenue that an STL operator projects to earn from the legalized numbers game.

Apart from Iloilo, applicants can also bid for STL operations in Antique, Aklan, Negros Occidental, Bacolod City, and Capiz.

STL operations in Guimaras are back to normal following the temporary shutdown in July 2019.

As she urged all interested parties to apply, Garma said that “the PCSO is grateful to the public for its continued patronage of all PCSO games. Rest assured the agency is unwavering in its commitment to raise funds for its medical and health programs, especially for its medical and health programs, especially for the Universal Health Care Program.”

Three months ago, Garma was in Iloilo City to turn over PCSO’s mandatory contribution to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and for a dialogue meeting with 132 active lotto/keno agents under Iloilo Branch.

At that time, she revealed that the PCSO, or the government for that matter, would have earned P700 million had the two STL operators in the city and province of Iloilo settled their revenue shortfalls.

Red Subay Gaming Corp and ZFIC Iloilo Gaming Corp failed to resume their operations after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of all PCSO-sanctioned gaming schemes on July 26, 2019.

During an interview in November 2019, Garma said Red Subay Gaming Corp, the sole PCSO authorized agent corporation (AAC) in Iloilo province, incurred a P335.39-million shortfall since it began operating on Oct. 8, 2018.

ZFIC Iloilo Gaming Corp., the sole AAC in Iloilo City, owed PCSO P369.8 million since March 1, 2017.

On Aug 22, 2019, Pres. Duterte allowed the resumption of STL operations provided that the AACs meet PCSO conditions.

One of the conditions is for the AACs to deposit a cash bond equivalent to 3 months of PCSO’s share in their Presumptive Minimum Monthly Receipts (the old name of the GMMRR) on top of their existing cash bonds.

These cash bonds equivalent to 3 months of the PCSO’s share will be automatically forfeited in favor of PCSO if the AACs fail to fully remit the PMRR on time, without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.

Red Subay and ZFIC Gaming’s bonds were forfeited for failure to meet this condition. Eventually, their authority to operate was also terminated, thus, opening the city and province of Iloilo to other interested STL operators.

Reports have indicated that Red Subay failed to meet the condition because of the very high PMMR it promised to PCSO.

Garma said the AACs set the PMMR amount, not the PCSO.

She said the PCSO only sets the minimum amount based on a formula that determines how much the ACC can earn in a certain locality.

When asked if the AACs are indeed losing, Garma said she’s a police officer and she knew better.

Garma said the terminated corporations cannot re-apply, even in other areas, and the names of their incorporators will also be blacklisted.