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Albay Sanggunian recommends closure of Small Town Lottery

By Manuel T. Ugalde

LEGAZPI CITY --- Describing the extremely low remittance of the Small Town Lottery, the Albay provincial board has recommended the closure of the Lucky Fortune, the firm operating the STL in the province.

The board members noted that the insulting low remittance of the STL operator collection to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is so disturbing, while the illegal jueteng operation is alarmingly getting stronger.

The Senate reported that STL operators across the country has a shortage of P5 billion in due remittance to the PCSO. The senate said many STL operators had closed shops after enjoying profits without paying their dues to the PCSO. This should be considered a criminal offense, said Senator Robin Padilla.

Former Legazpi City Councilor Diego Obido was wondering why jueteng bet collectors roaming around the city barangays and government offices collecting bets are hardly arrested by the police, a situation that is entirely different from what the operators of small time tupada and card games, which are being conducted at home, have been experiencing from the hands of the PNP personnel including card games conducted at homes.

These arrests are immediately reported to the media as police accomplishments against illegal gambling. What is behind jueteng that makes the police deaf and blind is a 65 dollar question, said Obido, the station manager of Radio DWRL

Provincial Board Member Jessaf Salceda, chairman of the Games and Amusement Committee, recommended the temporary closure of the STL operator, Lucky Fortune. Lucky Fortune is quite lucky having awarded the Albay STL franchise, but not the province, said a board member in jest.

The provincial board reported that of the 46 to 47 million expected monthly remittance to the PCSO from the STL operator, however, only a fraction or less than P10,000 is said to be reported monthly. This is disturbing considering that jueteng is getting stronger, they said.

Many in the provincial board believed that the Albay STL operation is most serving as front for jueteng, expressing disappointment that STL operation – in addition to the PCSO lotto operation – would eventually kill if not abate the illegal jueteng game, based on the PCSO study.

Antigambling advocates are united supporting the very words of former President Duterte that jueteng cannot thrive in a town without the tandem-agreement of the police and the mayor. If the police refuse jueteng, the mayor and the governor cannot do anything, vice versa.

Report said that the millions of the poor benefitting from the government Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program has become the strength of the illegal jueteng game. It is jueteng and other small gambling source that saps the very resources of the poor, said the former Bicolano senator Francisco Tatad.


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