Fresh from its mauling of online games developer PhilWeb Corporation and its recent order that Leisure And Resorts World Corporation must shut 53 of its 137 sites, the government of the Philippines is now reportedly considering ways to privatize the nation’s state-run lottery.

According to a report from the Manila Standard newspaper, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia declared that privatizing the state-run Philippine Charity And Sweepstakes Office would allow officials to better regulate the entity and stamp out corruption.

Pernia made the revelation at this week’s general membership meeting of the Chamber Of Thrift Banks in Makati City near Manila and stated that the move would moreover allow the market to liberalize lottery operations.

“[It had] something to do with small-time gambling, lotto [and] what to do with it,” said Pernia. “[The plan was to] privatize and then regulate. It needs to be regulated. It will be liberalized. Those who want to set up, they can also set up.”

Created by Act 4130 under then-President Manuel Quezon in March of 1935, the Philippine Charity And Sweepstakes Office has the authority “to hold and conduct lotteries and similar activities” in order to generate funds for the general welfare. The government legislation defined a lottery as “a scheme for the distribution of prizes by chance among persons who have paid or agreed to pay a valuable consideration for the chance to obtain a prize”.

Senator Franklin Drilon, who also serves as the Chairman for the nation’s Liberal Party, has long been one of the leading proponents of privatizing the Philippine Charity And Sweepstakes Office along with the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation in order to avoid any misuse of funds. The call from the three-time Senate President received a huge boost in May following the election of the more conservative Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency as the controversial former mayor of Davao City has previously referred to the lottery as one of the most corrupt government agencies.

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