GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The city government temporarily stopped on Friday the operations of all legal numbers game products of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in the city due to the lack of official concurrence from the city council.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said he issued a cease and desist order against all PCSO-authorized outlets within the city’s 26 barangays in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9649, which amended the city charter.
He said the order specifically covers the operation of all outlets for Lotto, Sweepstakes, Keno and the Small Town Lottery (STL).
Section 2 of RA 9649 added a new section, 101-A, to RA 5412 or the city charter, requiring the prior concurrence of the city government for the “establishment and/or operation of any form of gambling authorized under existing laws.”
It specifically covered the operation of legal numbers game products of the PCSO and gaming establishments or outlets authorized by the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
The mayor said the formal concurrence for the operations of PCSO games will come from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) or the city council.
He said the PCSO, through its chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz, sent a letter to his office on Aug. 17 requesting the local government’s concurrence for the continuing operations of its numbers game products in the area.
Rivera said his office forwarded to the city council last Aug. 29 an endorsement of the request.
He expects the council to formally deliberate and decide on the matter during its regular session on Tuesday next week.
“As of the moment, our decision is to have them cease and desist with their operations for formality with the SP,” he said in an interview aired over a local television station.
The mayor said he directed the City Permits and Licensing Division to ensure that the cease and desist order is properly implemented and complied with by the outlets and operators.
Outlets and operators who will not comply with the order would be subjected to police operations, he said.
Last month, the SP called for the stoppage of STL operations in the city due to the lack of official concurrence from the local government.
In a resolution, it declared the operations of PCSO’s authorized local franchise, Trento Gaming Corporation, as illegal and directed the city police to stop its operations.