The agency has also remitted an additional P5 billion in cash dividends to the Philippine National Treasury.
Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has confirmed it expects land-based casinos to reopen at the end of June or in July at the latest.
Chair and CEO Andrea D. Domingo, speaking at the ICE SiGMA Asia Digital 2020 virtual forum, said the move would benefit the country’s economic recovery as well as the 132,000 employees in the industry.
She said: “We have to maximize revenue collection, because our government, as all governments, needs the money, not only to fight COVID, but to buy the vaccine when it’s available next year, and to do massive testing, which is costing a lot of money.”
At the end of last week PAGCOR remitted an additional P5 billion in cash dividends to the Philippine National Treasury, bringing the agency’s total dividend contribution for 2019 to P17 billion.
The agency said in a press release: “The agency’s latest remittance is mainly in support of the government’s fight against the Novel Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”
In March PAGCOR sent P12 billion to state coffers. It remains the third highest contributor of cash dividends for 2019 among the government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), after the central bank, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The new dividends remittance, which was recently requested by finance secretary Carlos Dominguez, was taken from PAGCOR’s 2019 net earnings and accumulated retained earnings in 2018.
Domingo said: “There’s a need to infuse more funds to the government’s effort in battling the COVID-19 pandemic. With our latest cash dividends remittance, we hope to contribute more significantly to that cause. We might have suffered huge revenue losses but we can’t afford to lose the fight against this global health crisis.”
The remittance comes in the context of senate minority leader, Franklin Drilon’s proposition to fund Covid-19 response programmes with P50 billion (€892.4 million) in unpaid taxes from POGOs.