MANILA – Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is seeking the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte to resume its lotto operations.
In a Laging Handa briefing on Saturday, PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said they have sent a letter to Duterte for the reopening of lotto games.
PCSO is currently waiting for the approval of President Duterte, Garma added.
The lotto games have been suspended for three months due to implementation of the community quarantine to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
She said the PCSO is now preparing the minimum health standards needed for the resumption of the outlets.
Included in the health protocols to be implemented are wearing of face mask both for bettors and lotto agents and safe physical distancing must be observed.
Garma said barrier between lotto agents and bettors is needed to avoid close contact.
Those aged 21 and below and 60 years old and above will not be allowed to become lotto agents to adhere to the health standards.
She also said PCSO is preparing for the “digital” system of betting but it is still subject for approval.
“Ini-encourage namin, in fact, hindi lang po sa lotto especially sa STL sa aming proposal ang paggamit ng mobile app at ang pag-allow na gumamit ng automated betting machine kung saan hindi na kailangan ng face-to-face setting through marketing tools na makataya ang ating mga manlalaro (We encourage not only lotto especially small town lottery in our proposal to use mobile app and automated betting machine to avoid face-to-face setting through marketing tools for them to play lotto),” Garma said.
The PCSO, she said, is planning to have special draws for the bettors who bought advanced tickets before the lockdown.
“Once we will resume operations, 15 days po ito na magkakaroon kami ng special draw (we will have special draws for 15 days),” Garma said.
Despite the absence of revenues since March, the PCSO has been aggressive in contributing to the national government’s medical as well as humanitarian response to the pandemic.
The agency has released a total of PHP27,061,123 worth of medical assistance to 3,616 indigent Filipinos across the country from June 8 to 11.
The Medical Access Program is designed to augment the medical needs of the Filipino people nationwide, particularly the need for hospital confinement, chemotherapy, dialysis and post-transplant medicines. The program is funded by revenues from PCSO games nationwide. Christopher Lloyd Caliwan /PNA – northboundasia.com