The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) recently announced that their gross income target for the month of March far exceeded their own projections. For the month, Pagcor reported a gross income of Php3.67 billion, a number that’s 3% higher than their target number of Php3.56 billion. That figure also represents a 23% increase from their gross income – Php2.98 billion – a year ago.
According to Pagcor, the government agency’s higher-than-expected gross income stems from robust performances by a lot of the gaming establishments it regulates. In a statement, Cristino L. Naguiat Jr., Pagcor Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “Our upbeat operations during the quarter got an added boost from the strong performance of the other gaming establishments we regulate like the private licensed casinos, e-games, commercial bingo and poker clubs.”
All this added income has been a boon for Pagcor and to a certain extent, all the beneficiaries that receive funds from them. In March alone, Pagcor was able to send Php125 million to the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the 5% franchise tax. Similarly, the National Treasury received Php1.18 billion while the Philippine Sports Commission got Php59 million.
“Last March, we were able to allocate a total of P1.85 billion as the agency’s contribution to nation-building. This was P556 million or 43 percent over the P1.29 billion contributions we made in March 2011,” Naguiat said.
Other beneficiaries that received a piece of Pagcor’s March revenue pie include all the cities that host Pagcor casinos (Php41 million), the President’s Social Fund (Php200 million), socio-civic projects (Php221 million), the Board of Claims (Php3.5 million), and contributions to the BIR in fringe tax benefits (Php13 million).
Ever since Naguiat came on board as Pagcor chairman, the government agency has had 10 months, including this past March, where it has set a new record for monthly income, a sign that the gambling industry in the Philippines is becoming bigger than it has ever been.
This strong showing is a great indication on both the health of the legalized gambling industry in the Philippines and the management of the agency by the current administration, something that couldn’t be said for the last management group. But more importantly, on a government level, the stout earnings Pagcor has been getting in the past months has become an integral source of finances for the government’s nation-building projects, which in turn is making a big difference in helping a lot of Filipinos.
“Our mandate is not only to generate more revenues for the government’s various nation-building projects. We are also committed to help in other areas where we can make a difference and undertake programs that will directly benefit our fellow Filipinos,” Naguiat added.
Spoken, it seems, by someone who knows what he’s doing.