Govt sees income share from Pagcor slashed

The government will see its income share from state gaming firm Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and airport agencies dwindling next year despite rosy economic projections.

Pagcor is only expected to turn in dividends worth P10.940 billion from this year’s programmed P12 billion or a decline of 8.83 percent.

The gaming agency has already turned over P5.04 billion in the first half of 2010.

Pagcor’s remittance from January to June this year went down by P448 million from the P5.488 billion that the agency remitted in the same period in 2009.

The gaming agency remitted about P9.88 billion in 2009, below the P11 billion it turned over as part of the government’s share in 2008. In 2007, Pagcor contributed P10.31 billion to state coffers.

The government’s share from airport terminal fees would also be cut by P12 million next year to P300 million from this year’s target of P312 million.

Share from airport terminal fee has also been on the wane from P425 million in 2009.

Even the government’s share from the profits of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the agency running NAIA terminals, will also fall by 3.71 percent next year to P700 million from this year’s expected income share of P727 million.

This is also a significant drop from the P1.032 share turned in by the MIAA to the government in 2009.

As a government-owned and controlled corporation, Pagcor and MIAA are required by Republic Act 7656 or the Dividend Law to remit at least 50 percent of its annual gross earnings to the government.

Pagcor operates 13 agency-run Casino Filipino facilities and has four licensed casinos – Fontana Casino in Pampanga, East Bay Casino in Rizal, Poro Point Casino in La Union and Fort Stotsenberg also in Pampanga.

The finance department, the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR) and the National Tax Research Center (NTRC), meanwhile, are pressing Pagcor to pay corporate income tax pursuant to Republic Act 9337 or the Reformed Value Added Tax law.

The government also wants to impose VAT on Pagcor, saying VAT had already replaced the 5 percent franchise tax imposed on the corporation.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said it was possible that the domestic economy as measured by gross domestic product (GD) will continue to trudge its present growth path and even post a stronger seven percent expansion in 2011.

The GDP growth in the first half this year has surpassed expectations with the first quarter growth at 7.8 percent and the second quarter at 7.9 percent resulting to a 7.9 percent average for the first half, the highest after the 9.3 percent in the second half of 1988.

The economy’s second quarter growth this year is also far higher than the 1.2 percent registered same period last year.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), meanwhile, is maintaining a conservative growth estimate of four percent in 2011 from a projected six percent growth this year. Dino Ng

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