We get it, legalized gambling in the country is more like a deep well of none-drying, endless resource of wealth. With the government agency Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in the forefront of gambling, can we ask for more?
Proof that there is so much imaginable wealth the government agency can amass in so short a period of time is the fact that news releases about alleged excesses in dipping into its accounts are all over the media. Hence, we read about its past officers now in hot water receiving brickbats of accusation and legal woes from the current officials of the agency. Sounds normal in the Philippine context. The current officers find dirty laundry from the previous occupants of the house. So, expect the current crap (sic) of officers will also be in the same situation once a new board comes in the future. Nothing new, indeed! They are one source of annoying entertainment when there is nothing more interesting to watch on TV.
Early this year in January, the PCSO announced it will be establishing additional branches or sub-branches in Bicol in the provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate. The plan with probable target period before the end of 2012 will complete the coverage of the region’s six provinces. Nationwide, the PCSO has plans of putting up 22 more branches and sub-branches.
PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II revealed it is part of the agency’s efforts to reach people who are in need especially those located in far-flung areas of the country. PCSO has been the government’s main agency that sources charity funds for medical and health programs and other charities of national scope.
Take good note that Bicol region is one of the impoverished areas in the nation. There must be a whole lot of dreamers in the countryside that eventually the set of lucky numbers will strike pot money in the PCSO lottery. You wish. So who are being drained of hard earned money just to get a raffle ticket? Not the top or the middle income earners but those who are “haplessly cross- and starry-eyed bettors”, many are in the lot of lowly paid daily wage earners and lesser lucky underpaid, overworked in the population. To consider that the draw proceeds are supposedly aimed at improving the lot of the poor.
In the very least, whose lives get much improvement? We are not suggesting that we should cast our glimpse at the people in the government agency itself, of course. They are too honest and will never get the temptation to squander the stash of money for themselves. Please, don’t pinch us.
PCSO launched the lottery to formally quash the formidable “jueteng” but is not that successful in many fronts. Take a good look at the local government officials and the police. They have something to disclose, or maybe, hide? Because of this, many appreciate the vocal anti-gambling advocacy of retired Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz of Dagupan-Lingayen.
Top lottery officials expressed dismay over the performance of Small Town Lottery (STL) introduced in 2010 but failed to halt illegal numbers game jueteng. STL was now scrapped and replaced with another lottery scheme, the previously discussed on this link, PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB). The PCSO has started accepting applications for operators of the new betting game since July of this year. But todate, there are still 19 Small Town Lottery operations in 15 provinces and 4 cities in various parts of the country with contracts expiring in 2013.
There is vibrant interest in the new game that some 230 gaming operators have applied to operate PLB, even as the agency is still accepting applications, but will be allowed only in areas where there are no existing STL operations. Expect the lottery scheme to employ up to a staggering 400,000 if all the provinces operate the lottery. The PLB is projected to create jobs that are “regular” in character.
Previously, STL was considered to have employed close to 125,000 collectors. If that happens, the PCSO now becomes the superemployer, surpassing the Department of Education and the Department of National Defense, combined. Very revealing and reflective of government priorities and the current predicaments in education and national defense. Huhuhum, Scarborough fair. And the region will not go through this: Bicol Hit By High Rate of Underemployment in July.
Read for more here:
PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB).