Pagcor says proposal to merge with PCSO ‘difficult’
MANILA, Philippines – The heads of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will follow President Rodrigo Duterte should he wish to combine both agencies.
This, however, is “going to be a very difficult job,” Pagcor chairperson Andrea Domingo said on Tuesday, August 23, during the budget briefing at the House of Representatives.
Camarines Sur 2nd District Representative Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr asked Domingo to confirm talks of a possible merger with PCSO.
“I’ve been reading there’s a plan to merge PCSO and Pagcor because the main source of revenue of PCSO is actually gaming, which is under your jurisdiction. What is your stand on this matter?” asked Villafuerte.
“It’s going to be [a combination of] what we would call the masa (mass) end up to the international level end…. You’d have to hire really good managers to manage that,” said Domingo.
“But on the point of logic, yes, all of it is [about] games. If it is the policy of the national government, I will not object it,” she added.
PCSO vice chairperson and general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II told Rappler that he was not informed about the talks, but he would support it if this is the directive of the Duterte administration.
“Haven’t heard about it yet. If ever, we leave it up to the Office of the President,” Rojas said in a text message.
Both Pagcor and PCSO faced the House committee on appropriations on Tuesday not to defend their proposed 2017 budget but as sources of funds for the Philippine government.
PCSO generates money for health programs and other medical services through the sweepstakes, lotto express, small town lottery, and online lottery. (READ: PCSO mulls small town lottery expansion to boost funds)
Pagcor, uses the country’s gaming and entertainment industry to fund nation-building programs. These previously referred to education programs, but Duterte wants to realign Pagcor’s social responsibility funds to healthcare services. – Rappler.com