LGUs in the Philippines

Pampanga Vice Governor Pineda says Porac POGO fallout a ‘wake-up call’

Joann Manabat

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Pampanga Vice Governor Pineda says Porac POGO fallout a ‘wake-up call’

Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda and provincial board member Ananias Canlas Jr led the second committee hearing on the raided POGO in Porac on Friday, June 21

Screenshot from Pampanga PIO Facebook

Communication and coordination lapses between LGUs and government agencies are highlighted during the second committee hearing at the Provincial Capitol on Friday, June 21, presided over by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan

PAMPANGA, Philippines – Pampanga Vice Governor Lilia Pineda said on Friday, June 21, that the recent raid on a Philippine offshore gaming operation (POGO) Lucky South 99 Outsourcing Incorporated in Porac is a critical “wake-up call” for improved coordination among local government units (LGUs) and government agencies.

Communication and coordination lapses between LGUs and government agencies were highlighted during the second committee hearing on POGOs, which lasted five hours at the Provincial Capitol and was presided over by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.

Pineda emphasized the significant impact on Pampanga, which has been identified as a hub for serious criminal activities including large-scale fraud, torture, and human trafficking linked to the raided Lucky South 99 and Whirlwind Corporation.

Pineda said the aim of the hearing is to push for amendments in the regulations governing the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), particularly in the issuance of licenses to POGOs, despite the escalating issues.

“Palagay ko itong hearing na ito, maging wake up call sa inyo, Pagcor. Sa tingin ko may mga lapses kayo. Kulang kayo sa coordination. Yung mga agencies na dapat niyong ka-partner na-disregard niyo eh. Kulang kayo ng coordination kaya ang nangyayari ngayon turuan,” Pineda said.

(This hearing should serve as a wake-up call for Pagcor. I think you have lapses; you lack coordination. The agencies that should have been your partners have been disregarded by you. You lack coordination; that’s why what’s happening now is pointing fingers.)

“Kayo Pagcor, dapat binriefing niyo ang LGU. Yung damage namin done na. Wala na tayong magagawa don. Aminin mo may lapses kayo, di ba? Ang hinihingi lang sa LGU, no objection. Dapat hindi lang yun ang hinihingi,” she added.

(You, Pagcor, should be briefing the LGU. Our damage is done. There is nothing we can do about it. Admit it, you have lapses, right? That should not be the only requirement.)


Key discrepancies were revealed during the hearing, including the reported number of employees, both foreign nationals and Filipinos. Pagcor said that there is no cap on POGO employee numbers, contingent on the site’s size.

The hearing also revealed that the POGO site in question accrued a monthly electricity bill of approximately P12 million, based on records from Angeles Electric Corporation. The site also faced internet service disconnection from PLDT as a result of the raid. A mansion with a lake in Barangay Señora, also in Porac town, was allegedly linked to the POGO.

Jessa Fernandez, PAGCOR’s assistant vice president for offshore gaming licensing department, clarified that POGO licenses are “site-specific” in terms of monitoring and inspection as tied to specific locations, such as the Thai Court building where Lucky South 99 is situated.

“In 2019, when the license was issued, it was specifically for Thai Court. The license is tied to this particular building, as it was the only structure existing at the time. Lucky South 99 did not apply for additional buildings within the compound,” Fernandez explained in a mix of Filipino and English.

In a separate session chaired by the Sangguniang Bayan of Porac on Thursday, June 20, Pagcor revealed that Lucky South 99 had never commenced operations and reported only three employees, per Pagcor’s monitoring records.

Joseph Lobo, head of Pagcor’s compliance unit, also disclosed to the SB that non-operational POGOs are obliged to pay either $150,000 monthly or 2% of their projected gross gaming revenue, whichever amount is higher. Lucky South 99 has been remitting the guarantee fee directly to PAGCOR.

“Based on our monitoring, Lucky South has never been operational. Since our monitoring and compliance teams began inspections, no operations have been observed. They have only declared three employees. Whenever our team visits for inspection, they encounter one or two individuals at the office,” Lobo said.

Porac Mayor Jaime Capil, during the first committee hearing held last June 14, blamed Pagcor for the POGO. Capil cited Presidential Decree 771, which revoked all powers and authority of the local government to grant franchises, licenses, or permits and regulate wagers or betting by the public. However, the liability of the LGU for the buildings constructed on the POGO site was also questioned.

The outcomes of the hearings are expected to influence and amend future policies governing local economic regulation, as well as align national mandates and local governance frameworks. – Rappler.com

1 comment

Sort by
  1. ET

    “Communication and coordination lapses between LGUs and government agencies”? Why? It is because someone or a group is playing “blind, deaf, and mute.” Behind such actions is the power of money. If the politicians kill these POGOs/IGLs, then they will lose a crucial source of campaign funds for next year’s election. However, such intent to kill may also be a ploy for increased funding from the same source and for the same purpose. Indeed, this is a realistic, exciting, and excellent plot in our Philippine political theatrics.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!