MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Wednesday said the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) can continue to do business by launching secure and fraud-free interactive mobile lottery games to help the government shore up revenues needed to respond to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.
In a statement, Ang Probinsyano Rep. Ronnie Ong said that while the PCSO really has no choice but to shut down its land-based lottery activities such as the Sweepstakes, Scratch-it, and Small Town Lottery, it can launch interactive and mobile lottery games amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“Interactive and mobile lottery games can actually be very timely at this time because of the ECQ. Many people are in their homes doing nothing. Instead of wasting money on some online games to fight boredom, they can actually support PCSO lotteries as their way of contributing in the war effort against this unseen enemy,” Ong said.
Ong, the vice-chair of the House games and amusement committee, noted that the government is losing at least PHP3.75 billion monthly, or PHP125 million daily since PCSO decided to stop operations with the ECQ last March.
He cited that the PCSO is making at least an estimated PHP15 billion to PHP16 billion every quarter from its various lottery operations.
“Even if we can only generate half of the PHP3.75 billion monthly revenue of the PCSO, we will be able to provide adequate relief of a lot of communities especially in areas that are on full lockdown. Let us be realistic about the ECQ. Most of the people take their chances outside their homes because they have no food to eat,” Ong said.
He suggested that the PCSO can deploy interactive and mobile applications where people can play Sweepstakes, Scratch-it, and other forms of lotteries.
The transactions can be done using various payment schemes such as credit cards, Paypal, and virtual wallets like G-Cash, SmartCash, PayMaya, and WeChat.
Ong said the PCSO must make sure adequate top-rated network security safeguards are in place to ensure that their mobile platform is safe and secure from all possibilities of hacking and other online fraud.
“This should be urgently considered by PCSO as the market may not recover back even if the ECQ is lifted due to market loss to the illegal and grey market operators. At the very least, funds are being generated rather than none at all,” he added. (PNA)