IATF to discuss lotto resumption soon — Roque

Published June 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) may soon consider the possibility of bringing back lotto operations because the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is an important source of revenues to fund the government’s response the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said he will remind the IATF himself about the request of PCSO to resume operations after being suspended for three months.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

“Siguro po ire-remind ko ang IATF sa susunod na pagpupulong tungkol dito sa request ng PCSO (Perhaps I will remind the IATF about PCSO’s request in the next meeting),” he said.

“Importante rin po ang PCSO, iyong mga pondong nakakalap niya, ginagamit din po ng Presidente para sa COVID-19 response (PCSO is important because President Duterte also uses the revenue they have collected for the government’s COVID-19 response efforts),” he added.

Last week, PCSO General Manager Royina Garma said they have sent a letter to President Duterte for the resumption of lotto operations.

The PCSO had suspended all lotto draws and medical services on March 17 due to the threat of COVID-19.

According to PCSO, they have “embarked more than P400 million for the medical and rehabilitation needs” caused by the pandemic. The agency has released a total of P27,061,123 worth of medical assistance to 3,616 indigent Filipinos across the country from June 8 to 11.

Garma said last week that the PCSO was already preparing the minimum health standards needed for the resumption of the outlets. These include the wearing of face mask both for bettors and lotto agents and safe physical distancing must be observed.

She added that a barrier between lotto agents and bettors will be installed 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.

Garma likewise said that the PCSO was also preparing for the digital system of betting but it is still subject for approval.

Meanwhile, she said that the PCSO was planning to have special draws for bettors who bought tickets prior to the lockdown.