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Philippines government to privatize lottery

The Philippines government has confirmed it is planning to privatize the lottery operations of state-owned Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

The announcement was made by Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia to reporters at the sidelines of the Chamber of Thrift Banks general membership meeting in Makati City.

“[It had] something to do with, small time gambling—lotto [and] what to do with it. [The plan was to] privatize and then regulate. It needs to be regulated,” Pernia said, quoted by The Standard.

“It will be liberalized. Those who want to set up, they can also set up,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier tagged PCSO as among the most corrupt government agencies.

In July, former officials of the Philippine Charity and Sweepstakes Office were questioned over the extension of contracts for the lease of lottery terminals without public bidding during their time at PCSO.

According to the Inquirer, the anti corruption group filed the complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman alleging irregularities in the renewal contracts awarded to Philippine Gaming and Management Corp. (PGMC) and Pacific Online Systems Corp. (POSC) in 2015.

PCSO chair Erineo Maliksi and his predecessor Margarita Juico were both named in the complaint.

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