Gov.Roel Degamohas ordered a stop to Small Town Lottery in Negros Oriental that he believes is operating illegally.
The order was issued after a Senate inquiry recently revealed that an STL franchise per se is legal but there are operations that are taken advantage of by private individuals without permits, defrauding the government of revenues.
He said that, as a result, billions of the projected revenues from the operation of STL nationwide are in the hands of illegal operators.
He told the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office branch manager, Belena Alvarez, who paid a courtesy call him at the Capitol in Dumaguete City yesterday, that he will put in writing his stand on the operation of STL in Negros Oriental.
Degamo also directed the police to dismantle STL kiosks, booths, and sub-stations found in the barangays that are operating illegally because the government has been prejudiced.
He said he has received reports that a lot of private individuals have established what look like STL kiosks but are, in fact, receiving bets on illegal “swertres” and remit those to their “boss”, who has allegedly siphoned out all the money.
The governor added this is the reason why “illegals” in the province wanted him out of office because he is determined to run after them.
But Alvarez said the Four Aces Corp., represented by Christopher Santiago, is the approved franchisee as operator of STL in the province, unless superseded, or unless they receive a memorandum from the national office to stop the operation.
She added the Four Aces is an Agency Authorized Corporation approved by the PCSO Board. Thus, it can't be accused of operating illegally.
However, it has to comply with all the requirements, one of which is for the corporation to remit P21 million in revenues to the PCSO every month.
Records, however, show thatthe company has not complied with this agreement.Alvarez said she was told by the corporation that their revenues are affected by the illegal numbers game “swertres”.
She said the corporation is remitting only P8 million to P10 million a month.
Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. (Neg. Or., 3rd District) clarified that the corporation is not required to remit P21 million a month.
Instead, it is a percentage of the P21 million presumptive monthly retail receipt (PMRR), or from 30 percent to 35 percent of the gross, which is about P7 million, Teves said.
He also said that he is not the owner of Four Aces Corp.
Meanwhile, Degamo, during a special meeting of the Negros Oriental Provincial Advisory Council of the Philippine National Police, reiterated his warning, and told provincial police director, Senior Supt. Edwin Portento, that he wants the STL in the province stopped.*
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