State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said it remitted P1.6 billon in cash dividends to the government coffers in 2020, significantly lower than the P18 billion it turned in in 2019, as revenues from casino operations due to the pandemic.
In a statement, Andrea Domingo, Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer said the gaming regulator and operator remitted P1.6 billion only in dividends to the Bureau of the Treasury last May 12, 2021.Domingo said the latest remittance represents Pagcor’s entire net earnings last year. The amount, however, is significantly lower compared with the company’s P18 billion total cash dividend remittances in 2019.
“The state-run gaming firm’s contribution is part of its continuing support to the government’s revenue generation efforts to fund the various health and economic measures to mitigate the impact of the deadly virus,” Pagcor said.
Domingo said that the agency’s frugality in spending enabled it to save and remain as one of the government’s major partners in nation-building.
“The current global health crisis is taking its toll on our income generation due to the suspension of gaming operations. But through our prudent use of funds, we are able to support the government’s significant endeavors, especially our battle against COVID-19,” she said.
Deputy Treasurer-Officer-in-Charge Ed Mariño formally received Pagcor’s cash dividends contributions at the Treasury office in Manila.
Mariño said the latest dividends remittance will help fuel further the national government’s economic stimulus program in light of the pandemic.
“We are thankful that PAGCOR has been a very responsive partner of the government in coping with the global health crisis,” Mariño said.
In 2019, PAGCOR remitted a total of P18 billion cash dividends, which made it the third highest cash dividends contributor, next to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
Earlier, Domingo warned that funding for the universal health care (UHC) would take a major blow this year as casino operations continue to grapple with the rising cost of the pandemic.
She said the gaming firm’s contribution to UHC will likely dwindle to below P5 billion this year from a pre-pandemic level of P18 billion.
In 2021, gaming operations in Metro Manila, the biggest source of Pagcor’s income, have been suspended anew following the country’s worst coronavirus surge in March.