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P900M PAGCOR grants wasted in Manila, Cebu, Pasay

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by Allan Yves Briones

The Commission on Audit (COA) called out several local government units for failing to utilize over P900 million granted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

According to the 2018 audit report, the biggest offenders are the cities of Manila (P393.72M), Cebu (P159.74M) and Pasay (P105.71M) which failed to utilize the fund meant for the delivery of basic services to host cities’ constituents.

As part of its annual drive, PAGCOR distributes portions of its yearly income to various government units to empower them to finance self-sustainable economic projects, and fund basic health services aimed at preventing the spread of diseases.

However, the commission found that out of a total of P1.203 billion allotted for local government units, only 25 percent or P903 million was utilized – the rest remained idle, which could’ve benefited the many constituents of each host city.

State auditors scolded PAGCOR for failing to monitor how the respective local government units utilized the fund with respect to established casinos within their jurisdictions.

In order to facilitate the utilization of the remaining idle fund, the state auditing agency urged PAGCOR to closely monitor the expenses undertaken by LGU beneficiaries to help guarantee that the income shares were used for their intended purposes.

Last Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte praised PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo for delivering billions of pesos in revenue to the national government.

“Magpasugal ka pa ng marami (Encourage more gaming),” the president said in jest.

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