STL operator in province faces potential shutdown

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE Small Town Lottery (STL) operator in the province of Iloilo is likely to shut down its operations if it cannot comply with the new set of conditions set by Philippines Charity and Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to authorized agent corporations (AAC).

Iloilo City Councilor Rommel Duron, who is also legal counsel of the Red Subay Gaming Corp., said they can hardly comply with the new conditions set by the national government after lifting the suspension of STL operations.

Daw indi na gid namon ma-comply ang ila mga ginapangayo kay daw kabudlay gid sina. Mahulat na lang kami and i-give up na lang namon kon indi na kami kasarang,” Duron said in a phone interview.

The new conditions that AACs in the country must comply in two weeks before they can resume operations are:

-AACs must deposit with the PCSO a cash bond equivalent to 3 months of PCSO’s share in the guaranteed minimum monthly receipts (GMMRR) on top of their existing cash bonds;

-if the AACs fails to timely and fully remit their receipts during the duration of their operations, the agency’s cash bond equivalent to 3 months of the PCSO’s share in the GMMRR shall be automatically forfeited in favor of PCSO without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.

-the AACs shall execute a written undertaking that it shall comply with its obligations under the agency agreement and will not institute any claims monetary or otherwise against the government and/or apply for a temporary restraining order (TRO) or injunction from any court to prevent government from exercising its rights and prerogatives.

-the STL agency agreement shall automatically be terminated upon violation of conditions of their franchise and/or any of the above conditions without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.

Citing the said conditions, Duron said that they need to deposit P333 million in GMRR on top of its PMRR totaling P111 million.

Bayad ka sang one month and three months advance share sang PCSO, tama ka budlay, diin mo na kuhaon ang amo na nga kwarta,” he lamented.

Red Subay was also given two weeks to pay its arrears totalling P390 million, according to Duron.

Since the order already took effect on Tuesday, Duron said that they will just wait for the deadline to commence.

Wala naman kami any move nga pagahimuon, mahulat na lang kami and if they require us to close down, we will follow,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte suspended gaming operations of all PCSO outlets due to massive corruption. The ban was then lifted on all lotto outlets except for Keno stations, STL outlets and Peryahan ng Bayan.

Last week, the Palace announced the lifting of STL suspension alongside conditions that must be complied before the AACs can resume their operations.

Duron said around 2,000 workers of Red Subay will be affected if it ceases operations.

Red Subay operates the STL in Iloilo province while ZFIC Gaming Operations is the sole authorized operator in Iloilo City.