“Mr. Chair, it is evident from the last hearing, that this meeting is being used as a venue for personal squabbles of our PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) officials, which frankly doesn’t need attention of the public.”
This was the opening statement and manifestation of Davao del Sur Lone District Rep. Mercedes Cagas during the continuation of the House Committee on Games and Amusement hearing last Wednesday.
Cagas believes much has already been said on the issue of Small Town Lottery (STL) operations of PCSO, and the primary concern of the hearing is to deliberate on the failure of PCSO to generate the projected income resulting to failure of the process on the part of the national government.
“On the part of PCSO, the termination and revocation of license to operate is one. On our part, in aid of legislation, we should propose amendments to the charter of PCSO for a more strengthened and balanced system in monitoring all the operations of PCSO,” said Cagas, addressing Committee Chairman Paranaque City 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting.
In the said hearing, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves and jueteng-bagwoman-turned-whistleblower PCSO Director Sandra Cam engaged in a heated argument where Cam accused the former of being an STL operator.
Teves vehemently denied the accusation and challenged Cam to present legal documentary evidence on the next hearing. If she cannot prove her claims, Cam was asked to resign as PCSO Director. Otherwise, Teves will do the same.
In the past hearings, it was discussed that the losses could have something to do with the PCSO’s formula for computing the Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipt (PMRR).
Cagas also reiterated Quezon Province Rep. Danilo Suarez’s request for the creation of a Technical Working Group (TWG) to come up with a more rational formula to compute the PMRR.
Suarez sponsored House Resolution Nr. 546 probing the proliferation of illegal gambling.
“PCSO has an image that they need to protect, to maintain trust. Publicizing such facts might lead to public questioning of the integrity of the officials as well as the PCSO itself,” said Cagas.
Cagas further added, “So therefore Mr. Chair, without prejudice to our authors and members, let us proceed to the creation of the TWG to amend, which needs to be amended and finally organize the STL of the PCSO for the benefit of everyone.”
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