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Gov’t to expand STL, earn P14-B revenue

The government is considering the expansion of its Small Town Lottery operations to generate additional P14 billion in revenues.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has proposed to establish 13 more STL outlets on top of the current 18 firms operating in the country to double the revenues.

The government’s lottery operations were among the topics discussed in the Cabinet meeting convened by President Duterte in Malacañang last Monday.

“PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) Chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz presented his plan on how to grow the STL operations. At present, we have 18 STL companies or providers. They will be 13 more outlets,” Andanar said in Filipino during a radio interview. “The projected income is around P6 billion and the target income is P14 billion,” he added.

Despite the expansion of the STL operations, Andanar said the government would sustain the crackdown on irregularities hounding the State-run lotto operations. “The crackdown will continue. Revenue collection has been low because the STL has been infiltrated by other gambling operations,” he said.

Duterte earlier said he was considering the abolition of the PCSO, which he has described as the “most corrupt” government agencies.

The President has lamented that the STL operations have been used for the illegal numbers game “jueteng.” He has ordered concerned officials to study whether the PCSO should be abolished.

“If I’m not satisfied that it can really prevent corruption, I will recommend the abolition of the PCSO,” the President said last month.

The government earlier said it was losing P20 million a day due to inaccurate remittance of revenues in the STL operations. (GENALYN D. KABILING)