Demolish illegal STL structures — Labella
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants unauthorized small-town lotteries (STL) that have encroached roads, sidewalks, and public spaces to be demolished.
This is his latest order over the issues of unauthorized STLs sprouting in the barangays causing the city and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PSCO) to lose millions.
Labella has already instructed the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) to submit a weekly report on their investigation of the STLs, and he said so far the police have been complying.
He also met with PCSO General Manager Royina Garma recently to discuss the actions the city can take against these unauthorized STLs.
This time, the mayor wants to further reduce the number of unauthorized STLs by ensuring they can’t reoperate especially if their structures are illegally built.
“I’m instructing the PROBE (Prevention, Restoration, Order, Beautification, and Enhancement) team to take down STLs that are also illegal structures,” he said.
The demolition would ensure that the operators can no longer reoperate their unauthorized outlets since these have been removed.
At the same time, the demolition would also comply with the road clearing mandate of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The mayor hopes that hitting two birds with one stone through demolishing illegal structures and unauthorized lotteries, would prevent STLs from resprouting after closure.
Labella said the proliferation of illegal STLs is concerning because many people may be enticed to bet on these unlawful operators.
For the part of the PROBE team, the agency said it is ready to implement the order of the mayor.
“We have the manpower, we are ready to implement the order. Ang amoa lang we need the help of the public. Report to us unauthorized STLs operating in illegal structures,” said Racquel Arce, PROBE head.
Arce clarifies that they will only demolish STLs that have encroached the roads and sidewalks. The closure of any STL structure inside the private property will be under the jurisdiction of the police.
She also hopes this intensified operations against unauthorized STL would force operators to stop their illegal activities. /rcg
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