DoF, “prepared to work on privatisation of gambling”

PAGCOR's fee collection was down in July and August.
PAGCOR's fee collection was down in July and August.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III predicts about US$6.18bn could be obtained by privatising gambling.  

Philippines.- Finance secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III has told reporters the Department of Finance (DoF) is “prepared to work on privatisation of gambling activities”

The secretary is ready to back the recent proposal from Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon to privatise the gaming industry in a bid to increase income from the sector.

Drilon proposed the privatisation this week as an alternative to raising taxes next year as the country seeks to improve finances after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Drilon said: “Rather than talk about new taxes, the government can generate funds through the long-overdue sale of government assets and privatisation of the gaming industry.”

The privatisation would include the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

Dominguez believes the move could generate as much as Php300 billion (US$6.18 billion) in revenue, but noted that a new study may be required to check that amount since the pandemic has affected PAGCOR’s operations.

The Philippine government’s outstanding debt totals Php9.6 trillion (US$198 trillion), up 21.1 per cent on last year.

Tax collection in the country is down, including PAGCOR’s input as limited numbers of operations have resumed business at reduced capacity.

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