Philippines Finance Secretary Calls for Privatisation of PAGCOR’s Casinos

By | December 14, 2022
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The Philippines’ Department of Finance Secretary, Benjamin Diokno, has resurrected calls for PAGCOR to privatise its casinos, claiming it is “wrong” that the agency continues to fulfil conflicting roles as both a regulator and an operator.

Speaking to local media amid ongoing debate over the proposed creation of sovereign wealth fund, of which PAGCOR is envisioned as a key contributor, Diokno said it was important to clarify the regulator’s role by selling off the 47 casinos under its watch.

He said: “PAGCOR is a regulator but at the same time it operates gambling companies. That’s wrong. If you’re a regulator, stick to that. You cannot run gambling casinos. It’s like saying that you have a central bank and yet you’re also running a bank. That cannot work. We can privatize its operations so PAGCOR can stick to being a regulator.”

The possible privatisation of PAGCOR-operated casinos is currently being evaluated by the Philippines’ Governance Commission for GOCC after PAGCOR chair Alejandro Tengco described the move as appealing shortly after being sworn into office in August.

But not all are in favour with House Speaker Rufus Rodriguez recently calling instead for the creation of a dedicated casino regulator, leaving PAGCOR only as an operator.

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