AN association of lottery agents is seeking a dialogue with President Rodrigo R. Duterte to press their appeal to be allowed to resume operations.

Philippine Online Lottery Agents Inc. (POLAI) chairman Nelson Santos, speaking by phone to BusinessWorld, said Lotto and Keno (Lotto Express) agents are “collateral damage” in the President’s anti-corruption cleanup at the PCSO.

He said agents have obligations in the form of rent and worker salaries

Ang apila namin sa presidente, as soon as possible sana maibalik na,” (our appeal to the President is to resume our operations),” he said.

He added beneficiaries currently funded by the PCSO may experience difficulties if they are funded by the gaming regulator PAGCOR because the latter has fewer offices.

“Right now, kahit sabihin mong tutulong ang Office of the President, tutulong ang PAGCOR, eh ang proseso kasi di naman ganun kadali yun, hindi katulad sa PCSO na maraming regional office pwdeng takbuhan agad (even if the Office of the President and PAGCOR help out, processing requests is not that simple. The PCSO who has many regional offices that beneficiaries could go to),” Mr. Santos said.

The Philippine National Police said that as of Monday, it had closed 30,284 PCSO gaming outlets.

The POLAI chief also said that the continuation of lotto operations will assure the continuous assistance to PCSO beneficiaries. — Beatrice M. Laforga