PAGCOR cancels contract with POGO auditor
PAGCOR will temporarily undertake auditing functions for offshore licensees until it can contract another third-party auditor.
The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) has announced that it has decided to terminate its consultancy contract with Global ComRCI, which served as a third-party auditor for licensed offshore gaming operations. The regulator cited “unlawful acts” as a reason for its decision and said it had issued a notice to terminate the contract after “careful investigation”.
PAGCOR has endorsed the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General for potential legal action. In the absence of an external auditor, it will temporarily undertake auditing functions for its offshore licensees until it can contract another third-party auditor. It promises a transparent bidding process.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had questioned PAGCOR over its hiring of Global ComRCI as an external auditor for POGOs after a New York-based bank denied issuing the certificate that helped the firm win its PHP6bn contract.
Gatchalian had called for the regulator had to terminate the contract as soon as possible. Since September of last year, PAGCOR’s new management has been reviewing existing contracts, including the one with Global ComRCI.
PAGCOR plans to restitute over PHP800m (US$16.5m) of the partial amount released to Global ComRCI prior to the current administration’s assumption and claim damages. Global ComRCI will have the opportunity to be heard under the principle of due process.
The regulator said: “PAGCOR would like to reiterate that contrary to previous reports, it has not yet paid the contract amount of PHP6bn to Global ComRCI. Moreover, no payment has been made by PAGCOR in the past four years due to the shortfall from the minimum revenue stipulated in the contract.”
It added: “PAGCOR is firm in its commitment to uphold the integrity of the gaming industry in the country so that all revenues from regulated gaming will continue to support the government’s nation-building efforts and uplift the lives of Filipinos.”