By Azer Parrocha
President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted the suspension of small town lottery (STL) after investigation, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said on Thursday, August 22.
“We are happy to announce that pursuant to the recommendation of the PCSO, the President lifted the suspension of operations of STL, all authorized agent corporations (AACs) that are compliant with the conditions of their STL agency agreement and has been remitting its guaranteed minimum monthly retail receipts provided the following conditions are met,” PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said in a statement.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the suspension on STL will be lifted upon compliance of certain conditions.
“Those compliant franchise holders will have to give three months deposit, those non-compliant will have to pay their arrears. There will be a waiver from suits,” Panelo said in a text message.
Panelo said franchise holders cannot sue and the effectivity will be after the publication of the implementing rules and regulations.
“Any violation of any of the conditions contained in the implementing rules and regulations will mean revocation of the license to operate the STL,” Panelo said.
Garma said the conditions are as follows:
• The AACs shall deposit to the PCSO a cash bond equivalent to three months of the PCSO’s share in the guaranteed monthly retail receipts on top of their existing cash bonds.
• Upon failure to timely and fully remit their GMMRR during the duration of operations, the AAC’s cash bond equivalent to three 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.
• Each AAC shall execute a written undertaking that it shall comply with its obligations under the STL agency agreement and will not institute any claims, monetary or otherwise against the government and or apply for a temporary restraining order or injunction from any court to prevent the government from exercising its rights and prerogatives.
• The STL agency agreement shall automatically be terminated upon violation of the conditions of their franchise and or any of the above conditions without prejudice to the other remedies that may be exercised by the government.
“The foregoing conditions shall be applied to other AACs that may be allowed to resume operations,” Garma said.
She said all STL AACs that will be allowed to resume operations will comply and sign new STL agency agreements in accordance with the terms and conditions of the new STL implementing and regulations.
Meanwhile, Garma said the PCSO is open to accommodate STL AACs with inquiries or those who want to settle obligations.
Last month, Duterte ordered all gaming activities of the PCSO, including Lotto, STL, and Peryahan ng Bayan, to stop due to “massive corruption”.
Since then, Duterte has lifted the suspension on Lotto and STL but the suspension on Peryahan ng Bayan stays. (First published by PNA, Aug. 22, 2019)