The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is in the process of evaluating 35 more provinces with pending applications for Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) to operate under the expanded Small Town Lottery (STL).
“There are additional 35 areas still unsigned with AACs that are presently being evaluated by the STL-Supervision and Monitoring Group. After that, we can say that the whole country is now with STL,” PCSO Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz said.
The expanded STL was launched last January with 56 approved AACs from the original 18. With this number of STL agents, the agency’s revenue collection could reach P27 billion for this year.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said that if the additional 35 AACs are approved within this year, this would further boost the agency’s revenue collection in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s order to produce money for the government that will be used in buying medicines that will be given free to the needy.
“Our actions are part of the previous arrangement on an instruction of the President for us to produce money for this government for charitable services,” Balutan said.
Among the areas being evaluated are Western District of Manila in the National Capital Region (NCR); Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Apayao from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); Ilocos Sur in Region 1; Batanes and Quirino from Region 2; Aurora in Region 3; Palawan and Romblon in Region 4B; Catanduanes and Masbate in Region 5; Capiz and Guimaras in Region 6; Siquijor and Cebu City in Region 7; Eastern Samar, Samar(western), and Biliran in Region 8; Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga City and Zamboanga Sibugay in Region 9; Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental in Region 10; Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostella Valley and Davao Occidental in Region 11; Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani in Region 12 ; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Island in CARAGA; Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi in ARMM and Cotabato City.
He said that with a total of 91 approved AACs within this year, these STL agents can also produce almost a million job employment for ordinary people who cannot qualify for standard jobs.
Balutan said that one of the objectives of the expanded STL is to eliminate the “underground economy” perpetuated by gambling lords who rob the government of billions of pesos in taxes.
“The directive of the President is to stop illegal gambling in with line with his aggressive all-out war against corruption,” Balutan said.
“The PCSO wants STL translated into concrete gains by providing serbisyo, trabaho at laro para sa mga ordinaryong mamamayang Pilipino,” he added.