Palace to provide aid amid shutdown of PCSO games

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MANILA – The Office of the President (OP) will provide the public with financial assistance following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to close down all gaming operations under the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) due to alleged corruption, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the public can simply write to either the OP or Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to seek assistance.

Yung mga nangangailangan ng tulong eh sumulat lang po kayo (Those who need help, just write us a letter), we will just direct your request sa Pagcor at sa (the) Office of the President. At makakaasa kayong ang pamahalaan ay nakahanda pa ring tumulong sa inyo (Rest assured, government will be ready to help you),” Panelo said in an interview over DZIQ.

Duterte earlier ordered the closure of gaming operations all over due to a “grand conspiracy” among the major players and enforcers to cheat the government of its rightful shares.

Panelo defended anew Duterte’s decision to shut down all gaming operations noting that government is losing 60 to 70 percent of its rightful shares due to corruption among major players.

Asked if the closure is temporary, Panelo said it will depend on the chief executive.

Hindi ko alam kung permanente na yan but for now, talagang ipapasarado niya lahat (I don’t know if that is permanent or not, but for now, the President really wants it all closed down),” Panelo said.

Eh siguro tingnan natin kay Presidente, sa ngayon napaka massive na corruption at ayaw niyang, ayaw na niyang ipagpatuloy (I guess let’s wait for the President to decide, at present, corruption is massive and he doesn’t want it to continue),” he added.

Moreover, Panelo stressed that Duterte has always been against the idea of gambling in the country having banned gambling in Boracay Island last year.

“Saka isa pa, isa pa naniniwala si Presidente na siguro na yung sugal eh hindi makakabuti sa ating bansa bilang lahi (President believes that gambling won’t do our country any good),” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured that government is also assessing the effect of the shutdown of gaming operations on financial assistance meant for health resources.

He also admitted that following the closure of gaming operations, PCSO employees will be losing their jobs.

“It appears to be that way, because… With no outlets, what will they do?” Panelo said. (PNA)

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