Solon wants Lotto tickets printed on non-thermal paper

By on February 4, 2015

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MANILA — To ensure that the printings on Lotto tickets cannot be erased or obscured by simple scratches and crumples, and can withstand reasonable heat, a lawmaker has proposed to print the lotto tickets on a non-thermal paper or any kind of recyclable paper.

Rep. Eric L. Olivarez (1st District, Parañaque City) filed House Bill 5317, which directs the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to cause the printing.

“Using thermal paper to print lotto tickets may not be a very wise idea after all. It is well known to the commercial industry that one of the significant disadvantages of thermal paper is the fact the same is not durable,” Olivarez said.

In pushing for the bill’s approval, Olivarez cited an incident last October 2014, where a man claiming he won the Php12-million jackpot prize on Lotto sparked and made headlines. The incident was considered novel or first of its kind and is still under investigation.

“Mr. Antonio Failon Mendoza of Calaca, Batangas claimed that he won Php12 million in the October 2 draw. However, his daughter allegedly used a flat iron on the crumpled ticket with the honest intention of storing the paper to its previous smoothed-out condition,” Olivarez said.

Olivarez said Mendoza’s daughter did this because of the fear that the crumpled ticket might not be readable in the PCSO machine. However, upon ironing the said paper, a big part of the ticket print got erased, making it useless and impossible to read by the PCSO’s machine after all.

The lawmaker added that the paper where the winning numbers of Mendoza was printed on was a thermal paper, just like all the other lotto tickets produced by the PCSO.

“Hence, when the paper was exposed to heat, the same easily changed its color and made most of the alleged winning numbers unreadable,” Olivarez said.

Olivarez said it is not advisable to use thermal paper for documents that are supposed to last for a while and this makes for a bad record keeping. Another disadvantage of using thermal paper is when the documents printed thereon accidentally get exposed to some heat.

The whole document changes color and like in most cases it darkens to a point where nothing can be seen. This is exactly what happened in the case of Mendoza, he added.

Olivarez said his bill is drafted to avoid the happening of such unfortunate incidents in the future and to remedy the exact situation, which Mendoza had to go through.

“In other words, to significantly reduce the risk of ticket spoilage, this bill seeks to require PSCO to change the kind of paper it uses to print out lotto tickets. Instead of using a thermal paper which is easily obscured by mere scratches or exposure even to a low level of heat, the PCSO will now have to print the tickets on a non-thermal paper, any recyclable paper or any kind of a more durable paper which ensures that the printings cannot be easily erased or obscured by simple scratches and crumples, and can withstand reasonable amount of heat as well,” Olivarez pointed out.

In this way, Olivarez said the winning person like Mendoza will have a better protection from ticket spoilage and will have a better chance of claiming his prize.

Olivarez said it must be noted that most of the people joining the lottery and purchasing lotto tickets are from the lower class to lower middle class of society. Most of these people did not have education and they cannot be reasonably expected to know or be aware that a lotto ticket is printed on a thermal paper, much less can we expect them to know what they must not do to the said ticket considering its nature, he added.

“These people joining the lottery use their hard-earned money hoping for even the slightest chance to change their lives and escape poverty. They must be given the fairest opportunity to win and claim their prize upon winning and this bill definitely contributes to the attainment of such purpose,” Olivarez said.

Under the measure to be known as the “PCSO Lottery Paper Act of 2015,” all kinds of lottery or similar games being operated/implemented now and in the future by the PCSO in the country nationwide are covered under this proposal.

The procurement process of raw materials such as new non-thermal papers, any recycled paper and/or durable, heat resistant papers, needed for compliance with this Act shall be in accordance with the existing rules and procedures for the old papers being used by PCSO.