PCSO chief Balutan scores Atong Ang’s ‘babbling’ against STL

July 2, 2017 - 8:22 AM
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PCSO's logo, in Philippine Star file photo illustration.

MANILA – There is no reason for the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to under-declare its revenues under the expanded Small Town Lottery program, which generated P5.018-billion from January to May this year, up from the P2.066-billion earnings in the same period last year, PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said.

Balutan on Friday slammed claims by gambling operator Mr. Charlie “Atong” Ang, who suggested that the agency is “sugarcoating the actual sales of STL.”

“There is no way that the government can under-declare its revenues under the expanded STL. Our Authorized Agent Corporations (AACs) are meeting their set PMRR (Presumptive Monthly Retail Receipts) monthly and all of these are being remitted to the PCSO and audited by the Commission on Audit,” Balutan said.

“There is no sugar coating that the PCSO is already gaining ground in its fight against illegal gambling. We’ve gained P5.018-billion from January to May and that is a 173.38 percent increase from the past year. That is a fact,” Balutan added.

Balutan, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of ‘83 likewise reminded Ang about his unpaid tax liabilities, currently being looked upon by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

“Maybe you could use your P2.37 billion monthly income from jueteng and the virtual two numbers game to settle your P25-billion unpaid taxes to the government,” he said.

In a June 30 report published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Ang claimed that the PCSO only earned P600 million, or roughly 12 percent of its sales from the expanded STL from January to May.

In a separate statement, Ang said that the PCSO merely got the charity share’s at 7% or only P350 million and that STL has a potential gross revenue of P5 billion a month or P60 billion a year.

This, according to Ang, means that the earnings from the five-month period could be higher than P5 billion or at least P25 billion.

He likewise suggested that the agency is deceiving people “so more people would play STL, thinking it goes to charity.”

Responding to these claims, Balutan reiterated that the increase in sales for the expanded STL resulted from the opening of 56 of the 92 target AACs nationwide.

Contrary to the lies being peddled by Ang, 30 percent of the net income automatically goes to the charity fund which will be used for charitable services of the agency — and not 12 percent as reportedly claimed by Ang to the media, said Balutan. He dared Ang to show his alleged evidence against the agency.

“Come here to my office and I’ll be more than willing to open the books of my agency for you,” Balutan said. “Release evidence, Atong, and don’t just go on babbling.”

“I can face state auditors and tell them straight to the eye that we never under-declared nor malversed money — but could you do the same before courts for your tax liabilities for Meridien?”