STL operation in Gensan illegal: City dad

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — A city council member here declared as illegal the operation of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) Small Town Lottery or STL in the city and sought for its immediate stoppage.

City Councilor Franklin Gacal Jr., chair of the council’s committee on games and amusement, said Tuesday the STL has been operating in the city without proper authority from the city government as required by law.

He said its operation is specifically in violation of Republic Act (RA) 9649 or the amended city charter.

“Under the law (RA 9649), the PCSO needs to seek approval first from the city council before it can operate any type of gaming in the city,” he said in an interview over Brigada News FM.

STL has been operating in the city for several months already through the Trento Gaming Corporation, which holds the PCSO franchise for the area.

But Gacal said officials of PCSO and Trento had not reached out to the city council when they started operating the STL in the city.

Citing the standard procedure, he said the office of the city mayor needs to issue a “letter of no objection” first for the STL.

He said the letter will then be endorsed to the city council for deliberation and approval through the issuance of a resolution.

The official said they observed the same process regarding the approval last year of the operations of electronic or e-bingo in the city.

“That’s what the law provides so we should respect it,” said Gacal, who is a lawyer.

Aside from violating RA 9649, he questioned the computation of the city’s share in the income generated from STL’s operations in the city.

He said the 3.75 percent share of the city as provided for in the STL’s implementing rules and regulations remain unclear up to this time.

Gacal urged city’s executive department to put a stop to the STL’s operations as they could be later held liable for violation of RA 9649.

Officials of PCSO and Trento in the city have yet to issue their comments on the matter. AVE/