Tulfo to investigate PCSO’s 3-Digit draw glitch

Senator Raffy Tulfo
Senator Raffy Tulfo(Photo from PNA)

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Thursday said he would launch a Senate investigation into the supposed glitch in the Philippine Sweepstakes Office’s Swertres or the 3-Digit lotto draw.

Tulfo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Games and Amusement, underscored the importance of determining whether or not the PCSO's 2 P.M. 3-digit draw on Tuesday, 27 February, was impacted by a glitch.

“We will conduct a hearing to investigate the glitch,” he said in a statement. “The public needs to know whether or not it was a glitch or it is another suspicious action by the PCSO.”

In its live broadcast on Facebook, the PCSO’s 3-Digit game was suspended temporarily after experiencing “technical difficulties” with one of its draw machines.

After a short break, the program returned to air showing PCSO’s staff unloading official winning balls from the defective draw machine.

The draw machine that failed to capture a winning ball was replaced with an alternate draw machine to complete the draw.

The recap also showed the loading of the official winning balls in the alternate draw machine which was followed by the actual testing of the draw machine in front of PCSO personnel.

Tulfo said the incident is considered “bad timing” for the PCSO as the investigation into the launching of its e-Lotto system is still pending.

Earlier in the day, Senator Imee Marcos reiterated her call for the temporary suspension operations of the PCSO pending the investigation into the alleged anomalies in its system that allow games to be rigged.

“There have been numerous glitches in the PCSO. We should really take a look at this. Until the issues are resolved they should stop its operation temporarily,” Marcos told reporters at a Kapihan sa Senado forum.

“It is difficult to lose the people’s trust in the lottery but it is more difficult that they have forgotten that their name includes ‘charity.’ Let us put it back in charity works,” she added.

Minor glitch

In a separate statement, the PCSO confirmed that a “minor glitch” affected its 3-Digit draw on 27 February.

According to PCSO General Manager Mel Robles, their technical team immediately responded and fixed the problem by using the standby machine which was approved based on the ISO 9001-2018 procedure.

“It’s not the first time that this happened and we want to assure the public that we are prepared for this kind of unexpected incident with our established ISO-approved protocols,” Robles said.

He noted that the PCSO also previously experienced a glitch in one of its draws in 2008.

He, likewise, said that similar incidents have also happened even in the United States.

“For this thing to happen is very remote. But we are prepared and we assure the public that our commitment to a transparent, fair, and authentic lottery games will never waver, and is as strong as ever,” he said.

In the past 25 years, the PCSO said it was only the second time that a minor glitch had happened while conducting an official draw.

The 3-Digit draw offers a top prize of P4,500 for each winning ticket.

Daily Tribune