Duterte Declares All Gaming Activities and Gambling Illegal
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure and suspension of all gaming activities and gambling that get their franchise from the government through the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) due to massive corruption, in a televised message, July 26. These include Lotto, Small Town Lotteries and Peryahan ng Bayan (funfair).
He further said that all transactions and gaming, wager of bets, becomes illegal beginning July 27. Duterte has also ordered the police and the military to arrest people “engaged in gambling activities in connection with the franchises, licenses, concessions granted by the PCSO.” The order comes months after firing the the PCSO general manager due to ‘serious allegations of corruptions’.
The President has ordered all licences, concessionaires, and franchises issued by the PCSO are all recalled, cancelled and withdrawn, effective immediately. All law enforcers are directed to implement the President’s directives with dispatch and without exception,” the presidential spokesperson said.
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character. To generate funds, the body conducts charity sweepstakes, races and lotteries of which their main products are sweepstakes and lottery games. The engage in health and welfare-related investments, projects and activities.
For Filipinos below the poverty line diagnosed with critical illness and requires maintenance, they often seek for medical and financial assistance through this office when faced with exorbitant hospital bills. Millions of terminally-ill and indigenous individuals have been assisted and helped by PCSO. However, with the current order, many people in need are worried whether the agency can continue with their charity work or not anymore. Where can the needy go to seek for help?
Furthermore, the administration signed the Universal Health Care Bill into law which automatically enrolls all Filipinos in the health Care Insurance Program of the government, so it behooves to ask, where will they get the funding? PCSO is one of the income-generating tools to fund the program. So why did the president seemed to disregard this said matter? Because allegedly, allocations from the said organization weren’t in order and don’t go to where they’re supposed to go due to corruptions.
In lieu of this, thousands of lotto outlets have been closed. But bearers of winning tickets can still claim their prizes. As for the charity works, the organization head urged everyone to ‘trust the president’s wisdom’.
Author’s personal note;
As for gambling activities, wagers and bets, many Filipinos are hooked to these. Despite the probability of winning of less than one in several millions, people buy tickets anyways, hoping that luck would shine upon them and be instant millionaires. Who doesn’t want that? But in hindsight, it doesn’t provide just entertainment but it teaches people to rely on luck more than hard work. If we look closely, the measly amount for a lottery ticket, if saved daily, can accumulate to a more substantial amount of real money rather than waiting for the game of chance.The hundred millions of prizes is but a pie in the sky. Some gets lucky and have their hands on the prized reward, but how many really had that chance until today? Besides, money that came not from our toils and hard labor doesn’t last long if not handled properly. “Easy come, easy go.” But who can blame someone who just desires to have a taste of luxury especially in a society where equal opportunity doesn’t exist?
(Few days after the initial announcement, the suspension on only lotto operations by the PCSO was lifted according to the Presidential Spokesperson.But other gaming franchise remains closed.)
Let’s talk with aimtalk teachers:
- Is gambling illegal in your country? What kinds of gaming activities are allowed?
- Have you ever won in a lottery or any game of chance? Please share your experience. If you haven’t, would you like to try putting a wager?
- Recently, countries like Japan legalized casinos. What can you say about it?
- What do you think will be the advantages and disadvantages of opening casinos in the country?
wager (n): syn:gambling
concession (n): a special right that a particular person or group of people is allowed to have
with dispatch: if you do something with dispatch, you do it well and quickly
exorbitant (adj): much higher than it should be
indigenous (adj): syn:native
behoove (v): it behooves somebody to do something (someone should do something because it is right or necessary or it will help them)
in lieu of: instead of
hindsight (n): the ability to understand a situation only after it has happened.
measly (adj) : very small and disappointing in size, quantity, or value
substantial (adj) : large in amount or number
a pie in the sky (idiom) : an idea or plan that you think will never happen
toil (n): hard unpleasant work done over a long period