President Duterte Commands the Stoppage of All PCSO Gaming Activities

Filipinos are fond of all types of games which include and involve money. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), a government controlled and owned facility, is the main leader in terms of regulating public sweepstakes in the country. They are under the direct supervision of the President of the Philippines until the President ordered the stoppage of all PCSO gaming facilities in the country.

Duterte Orders Stoppage of all PCSO gaming outlets in the country
This image was taken from CNN Philippines | cnnphilippines.com

If you aren’t aware, PCSO holds these gaming activities because they are directed to. The funds that they will be collecting will go to different fund raising programs and medical assistance services. So, they could experience a shock when it comes to providing funds for their responsibilities.

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Just recently, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all gaming activities of the PCSO including lotto and other small town lotteries (STLs) to stop. As per the President, this is because of the massive and the intended corruption of the agency.

What will happen to PCSO Lotto outlets?

Because of this closure and stoppage, all PCSO outlets that provide gaming activities will be ordered to halt operations. Last Friday, a video was posted by Malacañang where Duterte is expressing his disappointment to the government officials he caught with corruption.

He addressed issues that involved fraudulent government officials and activities and how they are continuing the wrong acts. Duterte said that he ordered the closure of all gaming schemes of the PCSO.

I have 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 PNP to check the stoppage of all PCSO gaming activities

Along with that, President Duterte made the announcement that he is ordering the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde, to arrest anyone who would disobey the command and those who will continue to operate since Saturday.

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Following this announcement by our dear President over video, General (Gen.) Oscar Albayalde, Philippine National Police (PNP) General, told DZMM that police teams would be deployed first thing in the morning to aid in the order of our dear President to shut down PCSO gaming and lotto outlets all throughout the Philippines.

Not only the PNP, Duterte also involved the military or any force of the country to arrest people who would be caught continuing operations.

So, it is quite clear that all gaming activities are banned including STLs and Peryahan ng Bayan. To add to it, President Duterte said that all games are involved as long as the franchise is from the PCSO, it is banned.

Pending investigation, lahat ho ng laro, stl, peryahan ng bayan, or whatever nature, there’s one that ‘yung gambling machine, keno, i said all gaming activities. ‘yung gambling, that got the franchise from (the) government through pcso, are, as of today, suspended or terminated because of massive corruption.”

Today, though, around 30,000 PCSO gaming outlets came to a close. Since Saturday, July 27, 2019, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has shut down a total of 30,284 gaming outlets which are operated and are subsidies of PCSO.

Are all of these PCSO lotto outlets?

Based from the data of the PNP, the total number of outlets include the following: 2,762 peryahan ng bayan, 778 Keno outlets, 20,241 Small Town Lotteries (STLs), and 6,313 Lotto Outlets. 

In a brief meeting in Camp Crame, Albayalde said that PNP units have been given directives and instructions to trace and locate different PCSO gaming facilities all over the country.

PNP Units have been given instructions on intensified crackdown on all types of gaming activities operated by pcso franchise, more so by underground numbers game operators.”

What about the funds for medical assistance?

Since the stoppage of PCSO gaming facilities, many people were concerned with the fact that the PCSO, since it provides funds and support for medical-related issues, begged the question: would there be financial support for medical as well? 

Just to be clear, although President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the stoppage of all PCSO gaming facilities, the Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) will still continue. Yes, the medical assistance given by PCSO will still continue.

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In a statement given today by the agency, they said that the public can still enjoy and take advantage of the IMAP services in all PCSO branches nationwide and in the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP).

May we inform the public that our Individual Medical Assistance Program (IMAP) services at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City and all PCSO Branch Offices nationwide will still be available today onwards, unless otherwise instructed.”

To give you a brief background, Duterte gave all these establishments 24 hours from Friday or when he gave the directive that he wants all PCSO gaming outlets and institutions to stop operations.

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I will give them 24 hours to remove them from public places. Tomorrow, beginning tomorrow at sunrise, everything, all transactions and gaming, wager of bets, becomes illegal.”

What should the public do?

Since the stoppage of PCSO gaming facilities, all people who will be seen involved in betting or involving the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), will be accounted for as not abiding by the law.

What this means is that being caught playing or participating in PCSO gaming, will automatically be charged as committing a crime.

President Duterte said that he would not be giving honor to different court orders that would stop the government from investigating on the corruption that is happening inside the agency.

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What do you think about Duterte’s directives on the stoppage of PCSO gaming activities? Would this impose a better future for the agency and the public? Can this really eradicate corruption in the agency when it becomes available again?

This is another step by our dearest President in addressing his concerns as regards corruption. Hopefully, this can be of aid in the complete and full eradication of corruption in the country, slowly and one step at a time.

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The total number of PCSO outlets nationwide is still not enough. The PNP and other forces of the country are still on the move along the President’s directive of stoppage of all PCSO gaming facilities in the country.

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