Franklin Drilon – Philippines Senate Minority Leader believes that the coronavirus pandemic reinforces the argument that Philippine casino regulator and operator Pagcor should sell its 47 casinos.
Drilon said The government does not have to look far to raise additional revenues. There are ‘low-hanging fruits’ the government can immediately tap to provide the much-needed resources for our country to survive this pandemic. I hope our economic managers will move faster on this this time, because the effects of COVID-19 pandemic will go beyond 2020.
He believes that privatizing the sector would generate PHP 300 billion (USD 5.88 billion) for the government which could be used to finance the fight against the pandemic.
However, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo argues that 100 percent of the profits from its casinos already go to the government compared to 19.5 percent of the profits from the integrated resorts.
Domingo said the remittances to the President’s office were intended for various funding requirements relative to Proclamation 922 “Declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the entire Philippines” and the subsequent declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon, which was extended until April 30. “The recent remittance to [the] OP is pursuant to Pagcor’s mandate to allocate its earnings to finance infrastructure and sociocivic projects.
Apart from its remittances to the national government, Pagcor and its licensees have also donated food packs, personal protective equipment and other medical essentials to frontliners, hospitals and communities in the National Capital Region and some parts of Luzon.