Gov't will 'find a way' to help PCSO employees: Palace says

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2019 03:37 PM | Updated as of Jul 30 2019 04:03 PM

MANILA -- The government will "find a way" to assist workers of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office who may be displaced by the suspension of gaming operations due to alleged corruption in the agency, Malacañang said Tuesday.

"Gagawan din ng paraan ‘yan ng Presidente at ng pamahalaan,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

(The President and the government will find a way to address that.)

Displaced workers in lotto outlets and gaming kiosks meanwhile should have earned enough while their stores were still operating, Panelo said.

"I’m sure iyong namang mga naapektuhan, hindi naman sila ganoon kahirap. Marami naman silang kinita during those times na they were operating, so I’m sure mayroon silang pondo to live by," he told reporters during a Palace briefing.

(I’m sure that those affected are not that poor. They earned a lot during the times that they were operating so I’m sure that they have funds to live by.)

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Over 30,000 lotto outlets and other gaming kiosks were shut down during the weekend after President Rodrigo Duterte declared these as illegal and accused the PCSO of "massive corruption."

Medical assistance provided by the PCSO to poor Filipinos however will continue, its management clarified.

Pressed on how the government planned to handle the displacement of some workers, Panelo said the public should not "underestimate" the resiliency of Filipinos.

“Bakit noong hindi pa ba sila empleyado hindi sila nabubuhay? Do not underestimate the human spirit of Filipinos. ‘Pag may dumarating na storm o anumang sakuna o anong mga bagsak sa ating buhay, nakakaahon naman tayo,” he said.

(Weren’t they surviving before they became employees? Do not underestimate the human spirit of Filipinos. Whenever there are storms or challenges in our lives, we always get back up.)

“‘Yan ay pansamantala lamang (That is only temporary), the President wants to rid massive corruption and he has to do something about it. We have to do with what the President has done,” he said.

Panelo on Monday said the ban on all PCSO gaming schemes would stay until the government finishes its investigation into alleged corruption within the agency.