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Working towards a better future

Article - July 28, 2011
PAGCOR, in charge of overseeing gaming in the Philippines, is also responsible in a large part for the country’s socio-economic development
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is more than it sounds.

A 100% government-owned and controlled corporation, PAGCOR was created in 1977 to put a stop to the growing proliferation of illegal casinos.

In 1983, PAGCOR’s new charter gave the corporation broader responsibilities including the operation of Casino Filipino (comprising 13 branches in major cities nationwide) and the promotion of the Philippine tourism industry.

While these goals defined PAGCOR’s profile, a third goal defined a nobler mission: the state-run agency was also entrusted to raise much-needed funds for the government’s socio-civic and national development efforts.

Of PAGCOR’s income, 5% goes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) as franchise tax, and half of the 95% goes to the National Treasury; 5% of the balance is remitted to the Philippine Sports Commission for financing sports development programs. Other entities that get a share of PAGCOR funding are the Board of Claims, the President’s Social Fund, and cities hosting PAGCOR casinos for their community development projects.

For the first quarter of 2011, PAGCOR recorded total revenues of Php8.37 billion (over $190 million), up $17 million compared to the same period last year.

Higher earnings translate directly into higher remittances for the government. PAGCOR chairman Cristino Naguiat, Jr. is exercising more prudent management and lowering operating expenses, saving PAGCOR millions. “During the first quarter, we reduced operating costs by Php548 million ($12.45 million), which realized huge savings for PAGCOR,” he says.

Because of its upbeat performance, PAGCOR increased its remittances to its agency-beneficiaries to Php3.76 billion (over $85 million). This was better by Php228 million ($5 million) compared to last year’s contributions. The agency’s valuable contributions to government coffers help provide better social services to the Filipino masses.

Thanks to PAGCOR’s mandate for gaming, what is a fun and entertaining activity to some is a money-making means with a philanthropic end to an entire nation.