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PCSO dismisses Malaysia firm’s anomaly claims

The state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has refuted claims by the local gaming unit of Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya that a new lotto equipment contract had been anomalously awarded to the latter’s rival service provider.

This was in reference to allegations made by Berjaya-led Philippine Gaming Management Corp. (PGMC) that a new contract to lease lotto equipment for Visayas and Mindanao had been awarded to Pacific Online Systems Corp (POSC) without bidding.

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In a statement, PCSO assistant general manager for the online lottery sector Conrado Zabella said the existing contract with POSC was merely extended upon the approval of the PCSO board of directors. He explained that the contract extension was allowed—and executed—under existing government laws and regulations.

In June 2012, PCSO also expanded the service area covered by POSC to include Luzon.

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Zabella pointed out that “it was not necessary to conduct another bidding for this purpose since POSC already has an existing contract with PCSO.”

“As paying client, PCSO has the prerogative to expand the coverage area of its service providers with the best interest of the service as a whole in mind,” Zabella said.

On the change in the distance requirement from 100 to 50 meters from PCSO retail outlet to another, Zabella said this was a business decision guided by the PCSO’s desire to shorten the long queues experienced by customers who patronize the games being offered.

“More important is that we always balance the viability of having an outlet situated close to another in certain areas for the convenience of our patrons,” he said.

In choosing service providers, Zabella assured that PCSO would not discriminate against any race, religion, local or foreign as long as the offer was advantageous to PCSO.

PCSO lawyer Jose Malang, for his part, explained in the same statement that PCSO reserved the right not to publish or distribute copies of contracts if and when it would violate privacy and secrecy rights of contractors, especially when nondisclosure agreements are imposed.

Meanwhile, PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II also refuted further PGMC allegations that the P92.4 million saved as discount from POSC had been misspent.

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He explained that the amount was used to pay past payables incurred prior to 2010 and likewise added to the PSCO Charity Fund for medical and healthcare-related assistance to individuals and institutions.

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TAGS: Berjaya, Business, News, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Gaming Management Corp.
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