THE Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has revised the implementing guidelines governing small-town lotteries (STLs), disqualifying operators who were found to have violated the terms of their licenses or those still owing money to the agency.

In its 2020 Small Town Lottery Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) published in a newspaper Sunday, the PCSO said it hopes to collect more funds to support priority health programs as well as deter illegal gambling.

“The (revised IRR) is hereby promulgated to strengthen state-run localized lotteries to raise and provide funds for health programs, medical assistance and services and charities of national character; support the national government’s drive to eradicate illegal numbers games or operations; and generate employment,” according to the rules published Sunday.

In 2019 President Rodrigo R. Duterte suspended for a week the PCSO’s lotto operations as well as other activities such as STL, Keno and Peryahan ng Bayan, because of alleged corruption.

PCSO can still amend the IRR as necessary, with the approval of the Office of the President.

The revised rules require STL applicants to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, be fully Filipino-owned, and have paid-up capital of at least P25 million.

Authorized agent corporations, or those allowed to sell, distribute, promote or market STL, whose licenses were previously terminated can no longer apply to become STL operators. Also disqualified are those with overdue accounts.

The regulator also reset the calculation method for presumptive monthly retail receipts (PMRR), used as the baseline for determining guaranteed minimum monthly retail receipts (GMMRR), to assume the participation of 30% of the area’s voting population.

It said the GMMRR offered by the STL applicant will be the basis for computing the share due to the PCSO, and should not be lower than the PMRR.

The GMMRR can be raised if the agreement is renewed after the three-year regular status is attained. The escalation should not exceed the maximum average bet of P7.50 per day. — Beatrice M. Laforga