Manila, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last night ordered the suspension of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s lottery and gaming operations due to alleged massive corruption in the agency.
“I have today ordered the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes or whatever nature however done that got the franchises to do so from the PCSO. The ground is massive corruption involving all pati the courts who repeatedly issued injunctions to paralyze government and to allow corruption to thrive” the President said in a televised announcement Friday night.
“Pending investigation, lahat ho ng laro ng lotto, STL, Peryahan ng Bayan, or whatever nature… I said all gaming activities, gambling, that got their franchise from government through PCSO are, as of today, suspended or terminated because of massive corruption,” the President added.
Meanwhile, the PCSO said in an announcement made on Saturday morning that it will comply with the President’s directive but will appeal the PCSO’s suspension. The agency also advised players who bought tickets in advance to keep their tickets until further notice.
Created in 1954 by virtue of Republic Act 1159 otherwise known as the PCSO Charter, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is the principal government agency tasked for raising and providing for funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character.
The Charter authorizes the agency to hold and conduct charity sweepstakes races, lotteries, and other similar activities. It likewise allows PCSO to engage in health and welfare-related investments, programs, projects and activities which may be profit-oriented.
Under its Charter, the PCSO is mandated to set aside 55% of its net receipts as prize fund for the payment of prizes and 30% as contributions to its charity fund.
The Charter further provides that the remaining 15% shall be allotted for operating expenses and capital expenditures of the Office.