Gatchalian dismayed over ‘credibility issues’ of Pagcor’s third-party auditor
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has expressed dismay over the “credibility issues” of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) third-party auditor.
He believed that Pagcor was “nabudol” or tricked when it tapped Global COMRCI.
During the Senate committee on ways and means hearing on Monday, Gatchalian inquired about the bank certification of Pagcor’s third-party auditor.
“Ang assessment ko, in short, nabudol ang Pagcor dahil kumuha sila ng third-party auditor na ang ibinigay ay bank certification ng isang bangko na hindi naman registered sa BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). ‘Yung technical capability, walang ipinakita at lumalabas na parang ‘yung mga taxes, both local and national taxes, ‘di nagbabayad,” the senator and panel chairperson said in an interview after the hearing.
(In short, Pagcor was tricked because they hired a third-party auditor that gave a bank certification from a bank that is not registered with the BIR. In terms of technical capability, they did not show anything, and it seems that taxes, both local and national taxes, were not paid.)
“Since nakita natin na ‘yung third party auditor, walang office, hindi nagbabayad ng taxes, hindi pa nga pumunta ngayon, nakikita natin may credibility issues itong third party auditor… So, nakakadismaya dahil gusto natin ang gobyerno naghahanap ng kita pero nag-aaprub tayo ng third-party auditor na mali naman ang ibinibigay pagdating sa kita,” the panel chairperson added.
(Since we found out that the third-party auditor has no office, is not paying taxes, and did not even attend the hearing, we see that the auditor has credibility issues… I’m dismayed because the government finds ways to earn, but we approve a third-party auditor who gives wrong figures.)
Gatchalian explained that the role of a third-party auditor is important as they provide, among others, data on how much Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) are contributing in terms of taxes.
Gatchalian did not rule out the possibility of the third-party auditor being in cahoots with Pogo.
“They can be in cahoots with Pogo or they can be in cahoots with Pagcor themselves dahil ang Pagcor dapat pinag-aralan nilang mabuti at sinundan ‘yung sarili nilang terms of reference para makakuha ng tamang third-party auditor dahil we have to remember the contract is long 10 years,” he said.
(They can be in cahoots with Pogo, or in cahoots with Pagcor themselves because Pagcor should have studied it well and followed their terms of reference to get the appropriate third-party auditor because we have to remember the contract is long ten years.)
“Ang ibinabayad natin P6 billion for 10 years, that’s about P500 million a year ang makukuha nung third-party auditor. So, maraming questions,” he went on.
(We paid P6 billion for 10 years, about P500 million yearly, for the third-party auditor. So, there are many questions.)
During the hearing, Pagcor said they are inclined to rescind their contract with Global COMRCI amid questions raised by Gatchalian.
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