Pagcor’s income falls by 30 percent

REMITTANCES of state gaming firm Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to the national government fell in September to P813 million from the P1.062 billion dividend in the same period last year or a decline of 30.63 percent.

The September share of the government from Pagcor’s income was also below the August remittance of P969 million or a drop of P156 million.

The government’s share from Pagcor income has been on the wane in the last three months amid plans by the Aquino administration to privatize its gambling function.

Pagcor’s dividend for September nevertheless brought the total share turned over by the state gaming body  from January to September to P7.713 billion.

This was, however, higher than the year-ago level of P6.400 billion.

The gaming agency remitted about P9.88 billion last year, 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.

As a government-owned and -controlled corporation, Pagcor is 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 law deleted Pagcor from the coverage of government-owned and controlled corporations that are exempt from income tax.

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

Pagcor booked an unaudited P29.78 billion annual income in 2009, against P29.61 billion income in 2008.  Dino Ng

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