'Cut!': Garma fights corruption in PCSO
President Rodrigo Duterte last week cracked the whip on "massive corruption" in the state lottery by suspending the operations of lotto, Small Town Lottery (STL), Keno, and Peryahan ng Bayan. Only lotto operations resumed after a few days.
The chief executive acted in response to a plea for help from his newly appointed Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) general manager, former police colonel Royina Garma.
The new PCSO chief asked Duterte to stamp out corruption, saying what was needed was immediate presidential intervention.
According to a COA report, some STL outlets had been under-remitting to the state. The shortfall amounted to at least P4 billion from 2017 to 2018.
The PCSO reportedly ran after these parties but was met by court injunctions.
Corruption in the PCSO shows the relationship between corruption and poverty. Since the PCSO was not getting billions from STL operations, its ability to help patients who need charity assistance was being curtailed.
When a film director isn't happy with a take, he or she shouts "cut," and this is essentially what the new PCSO general manager did.
In the 70s, the name Garma became famous for a new method in "painless" circumcision. Dr. Garma's clinic, which offered a less painful way in cutting foreskin, set a new standard in excision which eventually became the norm in the Philippines.
This week's series of events has made GM Garma famous in her own right for trying to excise "massive corruption" in the PCSO. We hope it will lead to sustainable reforms in the PCSO so that it can help more patients in need of medical assistance.