By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting has called for a congressional probe on the more than Php 4-billion worth of shortfall in sales collection of small town lottery (STL) operations across the country.
Tambunting, chair of the House committee on games and amusement, has called the attention of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) following a 2017 annual audit report submitted by the Commission on Audit (COA), wherein a total of Php 4.049 billion registered loss in sales should be collected from 78 authorized agents.
“PCSO should also be made to explain the failuire to protect not only government interest, but even more the welfare of thousands of poor and sick Filipinos relying on its charity fund for their medical needs,” said Tambunting.
Tambunting noted that 19 of the 30 ineligible agents have a total outstanding balance of Php 294.524 million as of December 31, 2017.
The Parañaque legislator said the inquiry of his panel would also tackle the state auditors’ recent discovery, in which, 30 authorized agents were given authority to operate without paying in full the cash bond required of them.
“It is not enough that these agents have vowed to help eradicate ‘jueteng’ by operating STL, they have to fulfill mandatory obligations for them to remain in business,” Tambuntin said.
Tambunting demanded the immediate imposition of stiffer penalties against erring STL agents.
COA said the sales collection reported by 71 authorized agents for 2017 were “lower than their corresponding Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipts by Php 10.012 billion.
“Shares in sales collections remitted by 71 authorized agents were short by Php 4.032 billion due to the Php 10.012 billion shortfall in their PMRRs while remittances of seven authorized agentts that met their PMRRs were short by Php 17.344 million, making a total of Php 4.049 billion under remittances during CY 2017,” the audit agency stated.
State auditors stressed that poor sales performance violates Section 18 (3) for the 2016 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations for the STL.