Isabela congressional representatives on Tuesday called for a House probe into small-town lottery operations in their province.
In a privilege speech Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino Dy V STL operations in Cauayan City have allegedly failed to secure business permits and violated COVID-19 protocols.
The STL operations being managed by Sahara Games and Amusement Philippines Corp. were shut down by the local government.
Dy said the STl operations in the province showed "the need to clarify the laws and regulations regarding the conduct of STL operations."
The lawmaker pointed out that business permits "are a basic requirement for all those who conduct business within a particular area."
"Aside from the absence of required permits, Cauayan City officials also discovered that Sahara personnel from outside Isabela had not been respecting and complying with COVID protocols," Dy said.
"In light of these violations, the Cauayan City government had no choice but to fulfill its duties and shut down STL operations in the city."
The closures, however, are now being questioned in court, said Dy. Cases have been filed against Isabela LGU officials for doing their jobs.
The local Isabela STL operator argued the 2020 STL Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations did not require them to secure local business permits.
But Dy disputed this, explaining in his privilege speech that Sahara, the PCSO's AAC (authorized agent corporation) in Isabela, "is a juridical person, a corporation or a cooperative, with a personality distinct and separate from PCSO."
"It is a private entity which must secure a business permit from the municipalities or cities to where they intend to operate their lotteries," he added.
He said that "not only is SAHARA distinct from the PCSO, but their Agency Agreement with the PCSO to conduct STL operations is illegal."
Given the issues, members of the Isabela Bloc will be filing a resolution calling for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the PCSO’s 2020 STL RIRR.