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PCSO will utilize private funds to fight illegal gambling

September 15, 2023 Philippines iGaming & Gambling

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) disclosed that its confidential funds are used to combat illegal gambling in the country. During a meeting, PCSO representatives shared this information with the House Appropriations Committee.

According to Lauro Patiag, PCSO’s Assistant General Manager, the organization received approximately P100 million in confidential funds for the year, of which P25 million has been expended. These funds are designated for the acquisition of crucial data on illegal gambling, particularly in the provinces.

Reymar Santiago, secretary of the PCSO Board, emphasized that these funds are used to support policy decisions and gather intelligence on illegal wagering activities. The agency collaborates with law enforcement agencies in an effort to eradicate illegal gambling operations.

However, some House Appropriations Committee members, including Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of the 2nd District of Surigao del Norte and Rep. Stella Quimbo of the 2nd District of Marikina, were concerned about the persistence of illegal gambling despite the use of confidential funds. If PCSO has allocated such funds to combat illegal gambling, the effectiveness of those funds should be evaluated, they suggested.

Patiag clarified that only the PCSO general manager, who was absent from the hearing, has access to the confidential fund. In addition, he referenced a circular from 2015 that classifies the use of confidential funds as generally confidential. This classification necessitates rigorous internal controls, accounting, and auditing procedures to prevent mismanagement or illegal use of funds.

Disclosure of the use of confidential funds sheds light on PCSO’s efforts to combat illegal gambling in the Philippines, highlighting the complexities and ongoing concerns surrounding this issue.

Original Story by: ABS-CBN News

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