President Benigno S. Aquino receives from Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation president Cristina Orbeta the dividend check amounting to P2.1-billion to be remitted to the National Treasury during the GOCC Dividends Day at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Wednesday (May 13). (Photo by Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
MANILA, Philippines — Contributions of government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCC) to public funds remain high.
Yesterday morning in a ceremony held at Malacañan, the 49 GOCC’s presented checks to President Aquino, amounting to more than 30 billion pesos, as dividends of the national government.
The biggest remittances are from the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation or PAGCOR amounting to 10.1 billion pesos; Land Bank of the Philippines with 6.25 billion pesos; 3.2 billion pesos from the Bases Conversion Development Authority; 3.1 billion from the Development Bank of The Philippines and 2.3 billion pesos from Food Terminal Incorporated. 2.1 billion pesos from Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation and more than 1 billion each from 40 different GOCC’s included in the billionaires club.
President Aquino praised the GOCC’s that exhibited good performance and criticized companies that were involved in corruption cases.
As reward for their hard work, the president ordered a review of possible bonus increases to be given to employees of celebrated GOCC’s.
It is GOCC’s mandate to declare and remit at least 50 percent of their profit as dividends to the national government as stated in Republic Act Number 7656.
It was 2011 when the Department Of Finance started the traditional turnover as part of the celebration of GOCC day. (NEL MARIBOJOC / UNTV NEWS)
MANILA, Philippines — Pag-IBIG Fund is the most-trusted government-run corporation according to a nationwide trust survey of key institutions in the Philippines.
This is according to the 2021 Philippine Trust Index (PTI), a nationwide survey by the EON Group that cuts across backgrounds to measure Filipinos’ trust in the government, the business sector, the media, non-governmental organizations, the Church, and the academe.
“We are truly honored to be included in the list of most trusted government agencies. The latest results of the Philippine Trust Index and our 9th straight unmodified opinion from COA show that we have fulfilled our duties during the pandemic while still maintaining the highest standards of transparency and integrity in our work. This is aligned with President Duterte’s vision of clean government with heart for service,” said Secretary Eduardo D. del Rosario, who heads the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) and the 11-member Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees.
The 2021 PTI noted that “in terms of government agencies, departments that got the highest trust are those whose functions require them to remain engaged with the public, even during the pandemic such as online learning, finance regulation, loan assistance and aid distribution.”
The Department of Education earned the highest trust rating of 91% followed by Pag-IBIG Fund at 89% – the highest among GOCCs on the list.
“On behalf of all Lingkod Pag-IBIG, thank you for your trust, our dear members! As you know, we never stopped providing service even during the lockdown and community quarantines. Instead, we improved our digital assets so you can continue transacting with us online,” Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti said.
“We have proven that during this health crisis, you can always count on our Lingkod Pag-IBIG brand of service. And, while we have previously received awards and recognition, we are even more grateful that it is the public itself, the people we serve, that ranked us as the most trustworthy GOCC in the country for 2021,” he added.
MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) stationed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted 38 parcels with 75 poker chip-sets and other gambling paraphernalia imported in the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC).
The seizure, held in coordination with the Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost), discovered the said gambling items without the required permit from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Thru the vigilance of BOC-NAIA frontliners, Customs Intelligence & Investigation Service (CIIS-NAIA), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS-NAIA), X-ray Inspection Project (XIP-NAIA), shipments were apprehended in violation of Section 119 (b) of the R.A. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The intercepted poker sets, dealer chips, and other gambling paraphernalia shall be turned over to the Auction and Cargo Disposal Division for safe keeping pending seizure and forfeiture proceedings.
After the finality of Decision of Forfeiture, the forfeited gambling paraphernalia shall be turned over to PAGCOR pursuant to Section 1147 (b) of the CMTA (Disposition of gambling outfits, apparatus, paraphernalia).
The operation is in line with the BOC’s intensified enforcement and prosecution of smuggling drives spearheaded by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senators Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros are calling on their fellow lawmakers to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation into the alleged lobbying of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to exclude Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the COVID-19 quarantine.
In a joint statement, Pangilinan and Hontiveros said they have recently filed Senate Resolution 396 after PAGCOR allowed POGOs to resume partial operations, subject to strict conditions, purportedly to boost government revenues amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The senators said that the gaming regulator’s “actuations in lobbying for an exception in favor of the POGO industry threaten to unduly put the health and well-being of the Filipino people at risk by undermining the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).”
“Even going by the official estimate, allowing more than 50,000 workers in the online gambling industry to return to work represents a substantial exception to the ECQ rules,” they said.
PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo earlier argued that licensed POGOs should be allowed to resume operations as these are part of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector.
BPOs have been allowed to operate amid the quarantine period.
Domingo earlier assured that before POGOs were allowed to resume partial operations, they would have to meet safety and health requirements.
But Pangilinan and Hontiveros both expressed apprehension that the partial reopening of POGO operations could “reverse the efforts put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19”as there is no assurance that POGOS will follow the Department of Health’s guidelines on physical distancing, wearing of masks, and frequent handwashing and sanitation.”
The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) have also rejected that POGOs are part of the BPO industry, citing four key differences:
BPO companies are registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) or the Board of Investments, while POGOs are registered with PAGCOR,
the offshoring nature of POGOs are allegedly because they are unable to practice their betting or gambling functions in their respective shores,
IT-enabled jobs BPO companies create are of much higher value, requiring a range of technical, domain, and soft skills, and
BPOs come to the Philippines to leverage off the country’s human capital, like strong English and technical skills, customer service orientation, malasakit, and ability to adapt to foreign cultures. On the other hand, majority of POGO staffing comes from foreign labor brought into the country to support their operations.
According to IBPAP, POGOs are not part of the annual IT-BPO Headcount and Revenue report, which in 2019 ended with 1.3 million direct employees and $26.3 billion in revenues, the senators said.
PAGCOR also argued that revenues from POGO operations can be a significant source of funds for the government’s COVID-19 response.
It also said that operators are ordered to pay all tax obligations up to March 2020 before they will be allowed to resume operations and only registered workers cleared in COVID-19 rapid tests to report back to work.
But Hontiveros and Pangilinan pointed out that during a Senate hearing in February 2020,
the Bureau of Internal Revenue revealed that POGOs failed to pay the government an estimated P50 billion in withholding and franchise taxes in 2019.
The senators said the uncollected taxes of POGOs could be a source of additional government funds for COVID-19 response.
“[But these] taxes need to be collected regardless of the industry’s status of operations during the community quarantine,” they said.
The senators also pointed out that the resumption of POGO operations will have minimal impact on the country’s economy.
They cited records from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) showing that the industry only accounts for 0.04% of the domestic economy.
Earlier this week, a group of House lawmakers filed a bill seeking to have POGOs declared illegal by prohibiting the operations of any offshore gaming by any means or device within Philippine territory.
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