“Many of them (suspected illegal number games operators/ financiers) have switched to the legally operating Small Town Lottery (STL),” Balutan said. “When I started with PCSO in (September) 2016, 18 joined STL operations, now there are 81 of them and nine more are awaiting their papers to be approved as authorized operator (of STL).”
Balutan, a retired major- general of the Philippine Marines, said the PCSO campaign is hinged on a continuous public appeal and persuasion for the suspected financiers/operators of illegal numbers games to abandon the illegal lottery and support or join the STL. He said those involved and continuously patronizing the illegal numbers games, notably jueteng, masiao, and last-two, are also addressed not to support them as they do not contribute to the welfare of the government and the general public.
The PNPs Tokhang uses the strategy of knocking at the doors of suspected illegal drug users and dealers and persuading them to abandon their bad practice.
“We leave it to the PNP to carry out the punitive aspect of our drive to stop the illegal numbers game,” Balutan said.
“We have a continuing coordination with them to the campaign against illegal gambling.”
Balutan was at the medical-dental mission at the Nueva Ecija High School gym here Saturday carried out by PCSO in partnership with batch ’77 of the NEHS. He hails from Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija.
He attended his secondary schooling in this city after which he entered the Philippine Military Academy and graduated in 1983.
“We are doing our best to end illegal numbers game as directed by Pres. Duterte,” Balutan said.
“We hope that all the provinces and highly urbanized cities will have the STL to overwhelm the illegal ones soon.”
There are 81 provinces and 33 HUC cities in the country, with some HUCs authorized to have more than one operating STLs.
“We suppose the general public is supporting PCSO in its drive to kill the illegal numbers games operations as they slowly see the benefits accruing from the operation of STL,” Balutan said.
“For charity contributions alone for those needing financial assistance for their medical needs, the PCSO is giving out from P100,000 to P1 million daily to each of our (total of 63) respective branches.”
The revenue from the STL operation that goes to the coffers of PCSO has gone up, with at least P2 million a month, he said.
They add up to the revenues from PCSOs lotto, sweepstakes and others, he said.