THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) revenues would return to prepandemic level of P80 billion by next year on the back of the country’s economic growth and rising gaming demand, its chairman said.
“We will be able to attain about 92 percent of our prepandemic numbers already from last year’s 63 percent. This year we are expecting 92 percent of our 2019 prepandemic numbers,” Pagcor Chairman Alejandro H. Tengco told lawmakers during the House of Appropriations hearing on the agency’s proposed 2024 budget on Monday.
Based on Pagcor’s presentation, this would mean that the government-owned and -controlled corporation would achieve a P75.495 billion in total income this year, about 28.04 percent higher than last year’s P58.96 billion.
About P71.307 billion of Pagcor’s projected total revenues this year would come from its gaming operations, according to the presentation.
Pagcor’s total income in 2019 stood at P79.419 billion, with P75.759 billion coming from gaming operations.
Pagcor’s total income in the first half rose by 35.64 percent to P36.217 billion from P26.7 billion in the same period last year.
Tengco explained that historically the second half accounts for the bulk of Pagcor’s income, with the fourth quarter having the highest gaming demand.
“We are looking really at P72 billion minimum level [this year] barring geopolitical problems or whatever,” he said.
New record high
Tengco said they project that Pagcor would post a new record-high in terms of total income between 2024 and 2025.
“We will make sure we can reach the P100-billion mark hopefully by 2025. By 2024, I am confident that we can surpass the prepandemic [performance],” he said.
Pagcor’s 2024 projected total income is at P80.283 billion, about 6.34 percent higher than this year’s estimated full-year gross revenues.
Together with the increase in gross revenues, Pagcor’s contributions to nation-building are also expected to rise. Next year, Pagcor is projected to contribute P54.219 billion to nation building, about P4.129 billion higher than this year’s P50.089 billion estimated amount.
In terms of net income, Pagcor’s bottom-line is projected to reach P5.194 billion next year, about 6.74 percent of its estimated P4.866 billion net income this year.
Tengco disclosed that Pagcor is still seeking clarification on how the share of the agency to the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would be computed.
At present, Pagcor is remitting about 50 percent of its revenues (net of the 5 percent franchise tax) to the Bureau of the Treasury.
Now, Tengco said they want to know if Pagcor’s mandated 10-percent contribution to the MIF would come from the 50-percent share of the national government from its revenues.
Nonetheless, Tengco estimated that Pagcor would be contributing between P3.6 billion and P4 billion to the MIF next year.
“If we are looking at a contribution of Pagcor to the national treasury between P36 billion and P40 billion, and if we have the correct interpretation, then our contribution to the Maharlika fund would be anywhere between P3.6 billion to P4 billion,” he said.
Furthermore, Tengco said they are also seeking clarifications from concerned agencies on whether Pagcor could invest a portion of its retained earnings, which are held in the banks, in the Maharlika fund.
“If the [Department of Finance] will not be happy with our investments to the Maharlika fund, we are looking at—and still getting clarifications—if we can invest a certain percentage of our retained earnings to the Maharlika fund,” he added.
Republic Act 11954 or the Maharlika Investment Fund Act stipulated that 10 percent of the national government’s share from the income of Pagcor shall be contributed to the MIF for five years.