PAGCOR can find new revenue sources after ban on e-sabong --- Andanar

Malacañang expressed confidence that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) can find alternative sources of revenue following President Duterte's order to end e-sabong (online cockfighting) operations in the country.


Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said this after Duterte's order to stop the operations of e-sabong despite the revenue the government is getting from its operations, citing its worrisome social impact, and after defending it because of the money the government is getting from it.

In March, PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo said they tallied P3.69 billion in total income from eight e-Sabong licensees from April to December 2021. She added that they had collected P1.37 billion from the operations of seven licensees from January to March 15, 2022, alone.

In his press briefing, Andanar said Malacañang was certain that PAGCOR could find alternative sources of revenue following the order to do away with online cockfighting.

"Tiwala po kami sa kakayahan ng (We are confident with the ability of) PAGCOR to generate new revenues," he said on Wednesday, May 4.

In his "Talk to the People" on Tuesday morning, the President said he agreed with the recommendation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to do away with e-sabong as it goes against Filipino values.

"May naririnig na ako (I'm getting reports), loud and very clear to me that it was working against our values," Duterte said.

However, Andanar said there was no official document to implement the termination of e-sabong operations yet.

"Wala pang official document na galing sa (There's no official document yet from the) Malacañang Records Office," he said.

In March, President Duterte gave the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 30 days to conduct a thorough investigation of the disappearances of sabongeros (cockfighters). He lamented the disappearance of the sabongeros but said it would be better to leave the matter to the authorities.

Duterte likewise asked PAGCOR to conduct a survey on the social cost of e-Sabong after hearing unconfirmed anecdotes involving people, even kids, getting addicted to it to the point they are selling their properties so that they can place a bet.