PHILIPPINE sports remain one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
The gaming agency on Tuesday reiterated its all-out support to local sports as shown by the increase in the monthly contribution it is remitting to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrea Domingo bared in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila that her office has been averaging P140 to P145 million monthly contribution to the PSC coffers, including a total of P159 million just last month.
By her estimate, Domingo said more than P4 billion had already been contributed by the agency to Philippine sports since the time she was appointed to the post three years ago.
“Since the administration of President Duterte which started in July 1, 2016 up until the present time, PAGCOR has remitted P4.4 billion to the PSC,” Domingo announced during the weekly session presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Ameli Hotel and PAGCOR.
Part of the PAGCOR contribution, according to Domingo, goes to the incentives given to athletes who won in international tournaments, as well as for training and pension of athletes and coaches.
In some cases, the agency also extends support to several National Sports Associations (NSAs) such as wrestling, bowling, chess, dancesport, and taekwondo.
Just recently, the gaming firm also donated P852 million for the purpose of renovation and rehabilitation of the country’s three major sports complexes, namely the Rizal Memorial Complex, Philsports, and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium to be used for the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year.
“I heard they’ve already started doing it at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex at this time,” Domingo added.
Also in line with the SEA Games’ staging here, the PACGOR chief disclosed having released a P200 million check to the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) as a sponsorship package. The money, according to her, had already been given just two weeks ago.
“We have granted Phisgoc (financial assistance) based on the memorandum from the President exhorting everybody to help with the hosting of the SEA Games,” said the former Pampanga congresswoman and Bureau of Immigration chief.
That’s why it saddened her learning about the ongoing major leadership dispute among the country’s top sports officials especially with the SEA Games just a good five months away.
“Kasi malaking kahihiyan sa bansa natin kapag hindi natuloy (ang SEA Games) at magkaroon ng kaguluhan na ganyan,” added Domingo, who was also joined in the forum by Atty. Joey Tria, considered as the father of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation or more popularly known as POGO.
“I’m just hoping and praying that everything will be alright just in time for us to host the SEA Games.”
On talks about Phisgoc possibly being dissolved, Domingo said she has already instructed PAGCOR Assistant Vice President Jimmy Bondoc on the matter.
Despite the leadership squabble however, the agency will remain committed in supporting Philippine sports, according to Domingo.
“We’ll always support and has already given our support,” added Domingo. “Yung mga kaguluhan kasi wala naman kami diyan.”