A typical lottery roller-basket to draw the winning numbers.
By PERSEUS ECHEMINADA
MANILA: An official of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office expects the death of jueteng and other illegal numbers games once the PCSO’s Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) and other legal games are fully operational in the next few months.
PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas said the PLB would draw bettors away from jueteng and other illegal numbers games.
Aside from the PLB, the PCSO will also launch new games that will counter masiao, “last two” and similar clandestine games.
The PLB will replace the small town lottery (STL), which was used as a front for jueteng operations.
“The PCSO will introduce legal alternatives to illegal numbers games that would bring in government revenues, create employment in the provinces, and generate charity funds for health assistance to the poor and needy,” he said.
Rojas said a final review is being conducted on 189 applications for permits to operate PLB nationwide.
The PLB is expected to start operations in key cities and provinces in June after the PCSO issues permits to the new operators.
The PCSO assured the public that the agency would tighten the screening of applicants to ensure that PLB permits are issued only to legitimate gaming corporations and not to fronts of jueteng and other illegal gambling operations.
The PCSO, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the National Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies are coordinating to ensure that the PLB is not used as front for illegal gambling activities.
PCSO records showed that PLB applications were filed by firms based in Pangasinan, Bulacan, Zambales, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Quirino, Cagayan. Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, CamSur, CamNorte, and Sorsogon.
Gaming corporations in Metro Manila filed applications to operate PLB in Makati, Marikina, Pasay, Quezon City and Taguig.
In the Visayas and Mindanao, applicants came from San Carlos, Silayan and Sipalay City, Calape in Bohol, Cebu City and Lapu Lapu City, Southern Leyte, Iloilo, and Zamboanga City.
The PLB is expected to generate revenues of at least P10 billion in the first year of operations.
Under the PLB guidelines, local governments, congressional districts, and provincial governments including the local police are entitled to a certain percentage of the proceeds of PLB. - PhilStar