Friday, July 29, 2005


The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office was an institution of moral integrity and decency for decades. It was a long standing symbol of public service to the sick and the poor. It was then synonymous to the generosity of the able and humanity to the unable.

People were buying sweepstakes ticket to help--not to gain. Money was given to PCSO for charity--not to win more money. Many patronize it for altruistic reasons--for not egoistic materialism.

Then it happened. Its purity was soiled. Its honor has been tainted. And this took place when it went into gambling. It is now competing with no less than the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

First there was lotto. Then there was bingo. And hereafter came EZ2. Now it is introducing "Loteria Ng Bayan" or something the like. What will be subsequently invented as other gambling forms for the poor is anybody's guess.

The Republic is strong and becoming stronger--in gambling. There is official gambling for the wealthy and the influential through PAGCOR. And there is also official gambling for the poor and the needy through the PCSO.

Problem: There are no public funds available for the poor. Solution: Make them gamble. Problem: There are no government resources reserved for the needy. Solution: Make them take their chance in gambling. Problem: There is no work for the people. Solution: Make them depend on luck and chance by gambling.

PCSO is supposedly for service to the poor. Now it precisely gets the money of the poor through gambling specially designed for them. The truth wherefore is millions of gambling poor are exploited to help a much lesser number of the poor.

It is not enough for the Philippine Government to promote and defend the so-called legal gambling. The government also in principle allows and in practice even protects many illegal numbers games in the country.

29 July 2005