DESPITE incurring revenue losses due to the coronavirus contagion, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has not shown any sign of backing off from its commitment to help the needy.
This is certainly a most welcome news in this impoverished but natural resources-rich Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people as the coronavirus kills more and more people throughout the world.
At the outbreak of the disease in the country, PAGCOR, chaired by ex-Immigration Commissioner Andrea D. Domingo, also did its part in halting the spread of the dreaded COVID-19, closing all its gaming facilities.
On March 9, President Duterte declared a state of public health emergency in the Philippines. A week later, he placed the whole of Luzon under community quarantine to address the rising COVID-19 cases.
In closing PAGCOR gaming facilities, Domingo said “the entire Philippine gaming industry will suffer but the people’s safety is of paramount importance – the employees, customers and the public as a whole.”
To help cushion the impact of COVID-19 in the country, the gaming regulator and operator has remitted a total of P20.5 billion to the national government, according to Commissioner Domingo.
Likewise, PAGCOR purchased P6.5 billion worth of food items, including rice, canned goods and other basic necessities for distribution to front liners and people in dire need of help.
It is heartening to note that despite the big drop in its revenues, PAGCOR is not seen to stop meeting the needs of the people, including the COVID-19 front liners, who risk their lives fighting the virus.
Although it is losing billions of pesos because of the government-imposed community quarantine in Luzon, PAGCOR is still determined to help the millions of unfortunate members of society.
We hope other government and private offices and agencies will wake up to their responsibility to help our countrymen, particularly those who are in the de-energizing grip of grinding poverty.