‘Gambling activities got half of subsidies for arts and recreation sector’

More than half of government subsidies for the arts and recreation sector went to gambling and betting activities, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Based on the preliminary results of the 2014 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) for the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Sector, around 52.4 percent, or P288.8 million of the subsidies went to gambling and betting activities.

The subsidies for the entire sector reached P551.2 million in 2014. The remaining 47.3 percent, or P260.9 million, went to creative, arts and entertainment activities.

“Subsidies are all special grants in the form of financial assistance or tax exemption or tax privilege given by the government to aid and develop an industry,” the PSA said.

However, gambling and betting activities earned the most and accounted for the bulk of the income of the sector in 2014.

Data showed the total income earned by the sector in 2014 reached P95 billion. The PSA estimated that about 90.7 percent, or P86.1 billion, was contributed by gambling.

Gambling and betting activities also contributed the highest income-expense ratio, value added and employees in the sector had the higher productivity rate.

The income-expense ratio of gambling and betting activities reached 1.20, which means that for every peso it spent, it earned P1.20.

Gambling and betting activities contributed P37.4 billion, or 90.7 percent of the total value added for the sector. The value added of the sector was P41.3 billion.

In terms of labor productivity, workers engaged in gambling and betting activities were the most productive, with a value added per worker of P1.5 million.

There were 284 establishments with total employment  of 20 and over in the formal sector of the economy were engaged in arts, entertainment and recreation activities.

Gambling and betting activities garnered the highest number of establishments at 108, or 38 percent.

Other amusement and recreation activities ranked second with 82 establishments, or 28.9 percent.

Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities recorded the lowest number of establishments with 11 or 3.9 percent of the total.

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A professional journalist for over a decade, Cai U. Ordinario currently writes macroeconomic and urban development stories for BusinessMirror. She has received awards for excellence in reporting on the macroeconomy and statistics. She was also cited for her contribution to statics reporting by the National Statistical Coordination Board (now the Philippine Statistics Authority). She is a recipient of journalism fellowships including the Jefferson Fellowship from the Honolulu-based East West Center. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Communication at the University of the Philippines. She graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts Major in Journalism from the University of Santo Tomas.