THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) expressed its continued commitment in doing its share in the country’s sports development even during this difficult time of the pandemic.
This was shared by Pagcor Chairman Andrea D. Domingo at the online “Pandesal Forum” on Thursday, where she briefly talked about their agency’s experience in helping Philippine sports’ growth during these trying times and plans for it moving forward.
Under Republic Act 6847, or the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Act, Pagcor is required to directly remit 5% of its gross income to the PSC for the latter’s programs. This is apart from other contributions it has been providing.
It is something Ms. Domingo said they are trying to fulfill even during this time of the pandemic, notwithstanding reduced revenues brought about by the limitations in their operations, which is now mostly relying on online mode of play like offshore gaming, online electronic games and online e-bingo.
“From 2016 up to last month, we’ve been able to remit to the PSC almost P7.3 billion. Even during this time of the pandemic, we continue to give them although last year it wasn’t really good as we gave them I think on the average P60 million. But this time it’s getting better,” said Ms. Domingo.
She went on to say that in July this year, she signed a check for the PSC worth P98 million as part of their mandatory contribution. Ms. Domingo, however, added that for August they got hit by the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine closure which could affect their remittance.
“But we still try to do our best even during this time.”
Recently, the PSC acknowledged the key role that Pagcor played in the country’s historic finish in the recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where the Philippines had its best-ever performance in nearly a century of participation, winning its first-ever gold medal to go along with two silvers and a bronze.
“Pagcor’s contributions funded the training and preparation of the Philippine team for the Olympics. With their help, our national athletes are able to show the world just how talented the Filipino athletes are,” said PSC Chairman William I. Ramirez during the Tokyo Olympians’ courtesy call on President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday, where the athletes, too, got their incentives and rewards from the government, P38.5 million coming from Pagcor.
The gaming regulatory body contributed, too, to the rehabilitation of major sports facilities, including the Rizal Memorial Coliseum and Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila, which were used during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Moving forward, Ms. Domingo said their commitment to support the national sports programs through “ample financial backing” stays.
Of course, she said, it is all dependent on their revenue performance, which for this year they see anywhere between P35 billion and P38 billion.
“Back in 2018 and 2019, we were remitting to PSC an average of P150 million a month because we are doing very well. But with the pandemic, it really dropped,” Ms. Domingo said.
“But we are steadily recovering and maybe by the latter part of 2022, if all the marketing efforts work out and the pandemic is under control, we can return to those levels of remittance all the way to 2023,” she added. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo