The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said Wednesday that the agency might lower its contributions to the Universal Health Care (UHC), noting it is losing around P15 million daily due to restrictions of community quarantines.
According to PAGCOR chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo, the extended quarantines could reduce the agency’s revenue to half.
PAGCOR’s collection this year could decrease from P16 billion to P17 billion if the restrictions would continue. The agency earned P30 billion in 2020 and P80 billion in 2019.
Domingo said PAGCOR contributed around P18 billion to the UHC in 2020, which could decrease significantly this year if the quarantines continue.
“In 2021 I’m afraid that maybe only around P5 billion or even less and that makes us feel very sad,” Domingo said in a mix of English and Filipino during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum.
“We have so many problems with COVID and if we continue with this trend then we will not be able to help at all,” she added.
PAGCOR losing P15M daily from quarantines; might lower contribution to Universal Healthcare
PAGCOR is mandated to regulate the gaming industry, generate revenues for the Philippine government’s socio-civic and national development programs, and help promote the tourism industry.
It partly funds the Universal Healthcare Law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2020, along with the budget of the Department of Health (DOH), sin tax revenues, contributions of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
“Right now, what I am maintaining is an opex (operating expenditure) that is really fat-free to the bone but I do not want to terminate a single employee of PAGCOR,” said Domingo.
“From the lowest to the highest ranks, we would like to keep their compensation intact until we recover,” she added.
However, Domingo noted that PAGCOR could recover if the government would loosen the quarantine restrictions and allow the gaming industry to operate.
“I think if MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) would be declared or GCQ (general community quarantine) will be declared in the next two weeks in Manila, we may be able to recoup some of our losses,” she said.
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