The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has recently released a comprehensive statement in response to swirling rumors regarding its plans for privatization. This follows last year’s announcement of the authority’s intention to transition into a regulatory body and privatize approximately 50 casinos by 2025. Amidst these discussions, various misconceptions have emerged, prompting PAGCOR to provide clarity and transparency on the matter.

PAGCOR has emphasized that it pursues privatization to enhance the value of its casinos and foster a more competitive industry landscape. Contrary to certain criticisms, the authority asserts that this strategic move aims not only to elevate standards within the gaming sector but also to enhance overall competitiveness, rather than being solely driven by financial considerations.

A major point of contention revolves around allegations of PAGCOR’s extensive spending on refurbishing its Casino Filipino branch in Angeles City, amounting to ₱500 million (US$8.9 million). Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO of PAGCOR, has vehemently denied these claims, asserting that the renovation expenses are the responsibility of the property owner, not PAGCOR. He underscores the authority’s commitment to prudent financial management and clarifies that such expenditures do not stem from PAGCOR’s coffers.

Contrary to speculations suggesting that PAGCOR’s renovation efforts aim to increase property value for prospective buyers ahead of privatization, the authority vehemently refutes such insinuations. Instead, PAGCOR reiterates its primary intention for the renovations: to enhance the quality of facilities and services provided to patrons, thereby elevating the overall gaming experience.

Amidst rumors of impending privatization leading to significant workforce reductions, PAGCOR categorically dismisses such assertions as baseless and unfounded. Alejandro Tengco affirms that the purported figure of 10,000 redundant employees is grossly exaggerated, emphasizing that it encompasses the total workforce, including individuals engaged in regulatory, enforcement, monitoring, and licensing functions. PAGCOR underscores its unwavering commitment to supporting its employees and refutes any notion of mass layoffs.

In a bid to dispel misinformation and reassure its employees, Alejandro Tengco urges staff members to remain vigilant against malicious rumors and reaffirms PAGCOR’s dedication to their well-being. He underscores the authority’s role in promoting employee welfare and calls for collective vigilance against misinformation campaigns that seek to sow discord within the organization.

PAGCOR’s recent statement serves as a clarion call for transparency and accountability amidst swirling speculations surrounding its privatization plans. By addressing misconceptions head-on and providing comprehensive explanations, PAGCOR demonstrates its commitment to fostering trust and clarity within the gaming community.

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