Gov, Mayors Want Small Town Lottery Regulated

DAVAO ORIENTAL – The local chief executives in the province want the Small Town Lottery (STL) regulated here.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang and the province’s city and town mayors, during their recent meeting with the lead personnel of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Davao Oriental branch, have voiced their concerns over the operation and the recent mushrooming of Small Town Lottery in the province.

The meeting was called after barangay officials ventilated their concerns on the proliferation of theft and petty crimes since the STL started to operate in many villages here. The issue further escalated after complaints were raised by schools, barangay officials, and the religious sector on the indiscriminate placement of STL booths near schools, churches, and along the highway, which according to them seemingly encouraging the culture of gambling among residents while adversely affecting the province’s image.

Davao Oriental’s local chief executives headed by Gov. Dayanghirang in a meeting with PCSO

While the Provincial Government is grateful to the PCSO for providing its constituents medical assistance sourced out from funds raised in the lottery games, local officials are concerned that it only paves way for more poverty. “Instead of buying food for their families, people are being tempted to place bets for the game,” said Governor Dayanghirang. “We have been trying hard in our anti-poverty efforts and yet we are allowing an operation that further pushes our constituents to poverty,” he said, adding that the STL draw of up to six times in a day drastically affects spending behaviors of the locals who are mostly 4 P’s beneficiaries. He also noted that it defeats the purpose of lessening illegal gambling as “it makes matters worse”.

PCSO Branch Head Virgilio Enrique Abanilla assured the local chief executives to make the necessary adjustments in the operation. He has set a schedule to sit down with each of the mayors with their respective Liga ng mga Barangay for further consultation. Actions to move the booths to less conspicuous and more appropriate sites have also been taken.

PCSO Branch Head Virgilio Enrique Abanilla

Having just started to operate in October this year, the STL operation here is still in its period of adjustment, he said.

The STL is the newest regular game of the PCSO authorized by the national government and is being poised to boost the government’s fund-raising for charity. Revenues raised in STL hopes to expand and widen PCSO’s services for the poor.

PCSO’s core services include Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) for the hospitalization and medical treatment of beneficiaries; Institutional Partnership Program (IP) that provides fund for orphanages, shelters for elderly, children and abused victims; Endowment Fund Program that provides fund to hospitals to care for indigent patients; and Calamity Assistance, among many others.

For the period of January to August this year, the PCSO has already released P6.6 million assistance funds for 1,915 indigent patients in the Province of Davao Oriental.

Aside from raising additional fund for PCSO’s health programs, medical assistance, and charities, STL aims to provide funds to various local government units for their health programs and medical assistance and services. It is also being poised to provide an alternative to illegal number games operations and to aid their eradication as well as provide additional opportunities for employment. By Karen Lou Deloso






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