PAGCOR resumes payments to cities and municipalities

With the lifting of lockdowns in multiple areas, state-owned Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. (PAGCOR) has resumed paying shares to cities and municipalities hosting Casino Filipino branches.

PAGCOR chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo yesterday said the agency issued P34.64 million to local government units hosting the gambling operations of Casino Filipino.

Domingo said the localities can deploy their share from Casino Filipino revenues to finance measures containing the spread of the virus and minimizing the impact of the pandemic.

However, Domingo said cities and municipalities can only acquire their share if they permit their respective Casino Filipino branches to reopen. Likewise, the unit should meet the minimum goal or break even on income to receive their payment from PAGCOR.

Most LGUs use their Casino Filipino financing to support select projects in their jurisdictions. As reported, the localities direct them for infrastructure projects, health and welfare services and peace and order mechanisms.

“We resumed payment of the host cities’ share in January 2021, provided that the Casino Filipino branch is allowed to operate by the host local government unit, and on the condition that said branch meets the minimum target or operates at break-even at least,” Domingo said.

“With the approved grant of P34.64 million, our host cities will be able to receive financial support that is almost equivalent to their host city share allocation under full operational capacity,” she added.

Based on records from PAGCOR, LGUs received a sum of P1.93 billion from the agency from 2016 to March 2020, prior to the pandemic, bulk of which went to urban centers Manila, Cebu and Davao.

“PAGCOR is able to produce revenues that help boost community development projects by regulating gaming and preventing the proliferation of illegal gambling in the Philippines,” Domingo said.

“Through the share, many cities that host a Casino Filipino branch were able to fund sustainable programs, such as water filtering systems in their public schools or funding for disaster response initiatives,” she added.