A priority bill has been filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to have Pagcor’s functions turned “purely regulatory”.
Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) could soon become the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Authority (Paga) if a priority bill gets passed by the country’s Congress. House Bill 6514, filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, would turn Pagcor’s functions into strictly regulatory and would hand over licensing powers to the Congress.
In case the bill turns into a law, Paga would only have a “purely regulatory” function and will take over duties of the PCSO, Games and Amusement Board, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza), Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco), Freeport Area of Bataan, and other special economic zones.
The bill would demand operators to get a legislative franchise from Congress, whilst current licensees would be given a one year period to update their existing permits before being considered illegal. It wold also set a five-percent franchise tax on aggregate gross earnings, which Paga would be tasked to collect.
Hearings on the measure are expected to begin this week with the House games and amusement committee.