Local STL regulation sought
SMALL TOWN LOTTERY
OFFICIALS of the League of Mayors of the Philippines (LMP) Cebu Chapter are seeking the regulation of Small Town Lottery (STL) in the province.
Speaking during a session of the Cebu Provincial Board (PB) on Monday, the mayors aired observations that illegal gambling continued to thrive in their areas in the guise of STL.
The mayors asked the PB to come up with measures to regulate and monitor STL in the province.
The PB opened a legislative inquiry on STL on Monday after LMP – Cebu pleaded for Capitol, the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) to shed light on the status of STL operations in their respective towns and cities.
Officials present during the inquiry were led by LMP – Cebu Secretary Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, LMP – Cebu board of Director Dalaguete Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante, Town Mayors Mariano Blanco III (Ronda) and Inocentes Cabaron ( Moalboal), CPPO Director Senior Supt. Edgar Alan Okubo, and PCSO Central Visayas Manager Engr. Federico Damole.
Alegado suggested that STL operators must be compelled to secure a mayor’s permit to allow Local Government Units (LGUs) to regulate them.
Under the current set-up, the mayors are not given sufficient authority to ensure that the STL outlets doing business in their localities are accredited by PCSO, she said.
“We do not have control over this. It’s hard to distinguish illegal between legal operators. They do not seek a mayor’s permit. We cannot control how many are there. Because it seems now that there are more illegal STL operators than legal,” noted Alegado.
She added that requiring a mayor’s permit for STL operators would be easiest way for local officials to monitor illegal operators.
If this regulatory measure pushes through, officials noted that this would be the first of its kind to be implemented in the country.
PCSO records showed that STL is present in all 51 towns and cities comprising Cebu province, with an average of five to 10 STL outlets found within a single locality.
The LGU and the provincial government are entitled to three percent and one percent, respectively, out of PCSO’s net sales from STL operations.
“Congressional districts have 0.75 percent share, and for the police – 2.5 percent share. We require them to submit a consolidated daily report of their sales every month for us to compute and determine how much will be given to the LGUs, the province, and the PNP,” said PCSO’s Damole.
He, however, admitted that only the PCSO Central Office had the power to come up with measures to control STL operations.
For the meantime, Damole urged STL operators to start getting a mayor’s permit even though there is no provincial ordinance that is yet compelling them.
“We have listed several suggestions but we will see what we can come up with when everything is made clear to us,” said Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who sits as the PB’s presiding officer.
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