PCSO online lotto proposal slammed

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) proposal to launch online lotto in a bid to increase its revenues has been strongly opposed by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Tuesday during a panel hearing.

“I am totally against this plan and I am registering my strong objection to it,” Rodriguez told former Quirino congressman and now PCSO chairperson Junie Cua and the House Committee on Appropriations panel.

The solon made the point that young people would have easy access to gambling if PCSO pushed the creation of a digital or online lottery.

“Not to do to our youth what e-sabong or online sabong has done to our people,” the lawmaker appealed to Cua and his fellow lawmakers, noting that they are the custodians of the morality of the youth.

“Some 26 or so individuals have reportedly been kidnapped in connection with e-sabong. Their whereabouts are still unknown,” he stressed

According to the Mindanao lawmaker, gambling is always illegal under the Revised Penal Code, and the only exceptions are those allowed by Congress and by law, such as a presidential decree.

Rodriguez also objected to further earmarking or diverting PCSO income to other purposes.

“Congress has been giving away PCSO funds to activities unrelated to the agency’s mandate, which is to finance charity projects and health services. Let us review all of these laws and repeal those that are no longer necessary,” he said.

Cua supported Rodriguez’s suggestion, saying he wants a rationalization of all earmarking laws passed by Congress.

Rodriguez said the PCSO is giving funds to many agencies and organizations, eroding its income for charity and health services.

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