Arnell Ignacio, Assistant Vice President for community relations and services department of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), said PAGCOR plays an important role in the government's agenda for change as he enumerated the undertakings of the government owned and controlled corporation. "The primary role of PAGCOR is to produce funds for the government," according to Ignacio in a press briefing in Malacanan on Wednesday, Nov. 30. "There are a lot of other things that PAGCOR is doing aside from gambling. The core thrusts of PAGCOR are gaming, licensing and social responsibility," explained Ignacio. He said PAGCOR recently turned over P5 billion to the socio-civic fund of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. "When we turned over the Five Billion, his original plan is for the resurrection of the Botikang Bayan. But whether this fund will be used for the Botikang Bayan or for drug rehabilitation, its up to the President to decide," said Ignacio. The PAGCOR official also said that from its gross income, five percent immediately goes to the franchise tax and fifty percent goes to the National Treasury. Another undertaking of PAGCOR is its feeding program and according to Ignacio, this was launched and started last month in Pampanga where it will benefit several schools and about 13,000 students. The gaming official also said that during the recent Davao bombing incident last September, PAGCOR immediately turned over Php 5 million to the government of Davao. Also, the Php 5 million reward incentive given to Olympic medalist, Hidilyn Diaz, came from PAGCOR. At the same press briefing, Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan, Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Policy and Legislative Affairs, issued a clarification regarding the news spreading online that the Improvised Explosive Device explosion that struck the advance party of the President did not really happen but was just made up in order to have a reason for the government to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. "Yes, that remains to be a conspiracy theory. So we ask citizens to always verify the news that they receive in social media," said Ablan. Ablan also gave a statement regarding the ongoing protest coinciding with Bonifacio Day. "We respect the right to assemble and freedom of speech of all citizens and so Malacanan respects the protest actions being organized today, Bonifacio Day. And of course, (President Duterte) has instructed the authorities to exercise maximum tolerance. So we hope that those who are protesting today that they peacefully assemble," said the Assistant Secretary.
Source: Philippine Information Agency