QUEZON CITY – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the third largest contributor to the national coffers next to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
In a press conference at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) hosted by PIA Director General Undersecretary Jose A. Torres, Jr. on Friday, September 15, PAGCOR Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Group Ramon Stephen R. Villaflor said that PAGCOR is a 100 percent government corporation which is under the Office of the President (OP) and was created under Martial Law with Presidential Decree 10671 issued by then President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Sr.
“It (PAGCOR) was created for the Philippine government to put a stop in the proliferation of illegal numbers games and also under Presidential Decree 1860, otherwise known as the PAGCOR Law,” Villaflor added.
“It is mandated to regulate, operate, and authorize games of chance, particularly casino gaming to generate revenues for the national government and to help promote the Philippine tourism industry,” the PAGCOR executive said.
“It is the third largest revenue contributor next to Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to the national coffers,” he added.
“As announced by President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos, Jr. during his second SONA last July, PAGCOR has increased its income to 47 percent,” the PAGCOR executive said.
“50 percent of PAGCOR’s income, after deducting the excise tax, automatically goes to the national treasury to support the funds for the general appropriations and the other 50 percent goes to its operations, projects and programs,” he added.
The PAGCOR also contributes part of its income to the PSC (Philippine Sports Commission), PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation), among others.
“With the various laws passed by Congress where PAGCOR was mandated to contribute part of its income, the total contribution of PAGCOR to the national treasury cannot be ascertained,” Villaflor said.
Aside from mandated contributions, PAGCOR has corporate social responsibility programs such as relief operations for calamity victims as the Philippines is a typhoon-prone country being visited by an average of 19 typhoons annually.
“PAGCOR has provided P28.37 million for the purchase of food and non-food packs in 2022,” Villaflor said.
“This year, PAGCOR has extended relief assistance to Aklan, Oriental Mindoro, Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Northern and Central Luzon which were affected by Typhoons Egay and Falcon,” he added.
“More than 50,000 food packs were provided in Region I, particularly affected by typhoons Egay and Falcon,” Villaflor said.
“Because of the recent Habagat (Southwest monsoon), Marikina City and Bacolod City were also affected, which were provided with both food and non-food packs,” he added.
The PAGCOR executive also said that multi-purpose evacuation centers projects were launched in 2019 with P3.5 billion funding and they can withstand winds and gustiness of up to 340 kilometers per hour.
“Unfortunately, with the covid-19 pandemic, the project was quite delayed such that the funds of the government were rechanneled to Bayanihan as One Law,” Villaflor said.
Since 2021, the project was done in tranches such that for scheme 1, P12.7 million was allotted, for the scheme 2, P27.9 million was allocated, and for the scheme 3, P50 million was allotted.
Villafor said that PAGCOR has allocated a budget of P4.5 billion for this year for the four flagship projects.
“As of August this year, 36 evacuation facilities in the different parts of the country, PAGCOR has stopped additional funding, however, it has earmarked a new corporate social responsibility projects such as socio-economic projects,” Villaflor said.
“We are supposed to inaugurate those which have already been constructed, but unfortunately, the election ban has begun for the BSKE elections, which will be until October 30, 2023. Two weeks ago, the legal department of PAGCOR has filed for an exemption and we still don’t have the status as of today,” he added.
According to the PAGCOR executive, there are more financial grants to other government institutions based on the directive of the Office of the President and with the PAGCOR Board of Directors.
PAGCOR also has upcoming flagship Corporate Social Responsibility programs such as school buildings such that all buildings will be equipped with storage rooms and toilets for male, female and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
“In this new age of virtual communications, PAGCOR seeks to establish E-learning Centers which can be converted into e-libraries in coordination with the local government units,” Villaflor said. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.