Heard It Through the GripeVine: Our New Abnormal
It’s heartening to read about government work and public service being achieved, even in the face of dwindling revenues; as it exemplifies how in some institutions, there is no room for excuses or lame explanations. In such public corporations, it will always be evident that the people are taking their cue from the top, and finding ways to still be of service, maximizing what’s available in terms of resources, and keeping the course with fortitude and commitment.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was once again gifted with an ‘excellent’ rating, when the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) released their 2020 assessment ratings last Dec. 27, 2021. Officially known as the Corporate Governance Scorecard (CGS), the GCG also cited PAGCOR for its Corporate Social Responsibility programs, which are anchored on PAGCOR’s avowed mission to be a partner of the Philippine government in nation-building.
In the scorecard validation report, the GCG paid service to how, ‘PAGCOR has clear and strong lines of communication that allow the agency to respond quickly and efficiently to customer requirements and public needs to ensure consistent quality service.’
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo proudly declared that, ‘We have been over two years into this pandemic, and similar to many industries, the gaming sector has not been spared. In spite of our revenue losses, among other limitations, we remained committed to our regulatory and nation-building mandate. Hence, we continued to touch the lives of less privileged Filipinos. Likewise, we ensured that the government gets its fair share of revenues from regulated gaming.’
And to my eye, it was really about the professionalism, resilience, and commitment of each and every PAGCOR employee to rise above the challenges that the ongoing pandemic has created. How they mobilized to make sure that the agency’s best practices are still in place, flourishing in spite of the limitations caused by the prevailing situation.
The Corporate Governance Scorecard is a quantitatively driven evaluation tool extracted from existing globally accepted standards and practices; with particular focus on stakeholder relationships, disclosure & transparency, and Board Responsibilities. This ‘excellent’ rating is certainly something PAGCOR can be proud about, especially when you factor in the kind of year it’s had to endure. Remember that during ECQ and particular Alert Status, casinos and gaming operations were shut down, putting a crimp on the revenues that PAGCOR could earn from.
And to get the New Year off to a flying start, PAGCOR was happy to share how the construction of a halfway house at the V. Luna Medical Center broke ground on Jan. 11, 2022. A five-storey structure which will feature such amenities as a convenience store, dining and kitchen area, a caretaker room, and 30 accommodation rooms with 125 beds, this halfway-house will serve as temporary shelter for the families or watchers of soldiers confined in the hospital. This is part of a P53.2 million grant of PAGCOR to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Service Command (AFPHSC).
For PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Domingo, the halfway house is their response to the call of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide suitable facilities for the families of our valiant soldiers, who offer life and limb to protect the country. Presently, as AFPHSC Chief of Staff Col. Lauro Oliveros explained, the watchers of these convalescing soldiers would sleep overnight in stiff chairs positioned beside the beds.
For staying its course, and finding diverse ways to stay true to its mandate, we applaud PAGCOR, and wish it our best this New Year.