P2.2B due from Pogo licensee lost as operator fled amid pandemic - Pagcor | Inquirer News

P2.2B due from Pogo licensee lost as operator fled amid pandemic – Pagcor

/ 11:25 AM August 14, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines — A P2.2 billion receivable from a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) licensee cannot be collected anymore as the firm left the country in the middle of the pandemic, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) admitted on Monday.

Pagcor chairperson and chief executive officer Al Tengco, during the House committee on appropriations’ hearing on the proposed 2024 national budget, was asked by Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan what has happened to the amount indicated by the Commission on Audit (COA) as receivables.


Tengco said that the amount pinpointed by COA for its audit of the past Pagcor administration could not be collected since they have closed the shop.


“Actually, the said amount during the past administration was not collected. This was a P2.2 billion receivable from a POGO that was licensed during the last administration, and during the pandemic po nawala na lang pong parang bula ‘yong Pogo (the Pogo disappeared like bubbles), they did not — they closed shop and ran away,” Tengco said.

“In fact I had an exit conference with COA about one month ago, and I had manifested to the supervisor of COA in Pagcor that there is no way we can collect that said P2.2 billion anymore because during my term po, kaagad naming pinuntahan at hinanap po lahat no’ng mga officers no’ng licensee na ‘yon, at lumabas nga po’y do’n sa aming imbestigasyon, sila po’y matapos magsara’y naka-alis na,” he added.

(… during my term, we immediately went out and looked after the officers of that licensee, and based on our investigation, it appears that they have all closed their operations and fled.)

READ: POGOs still owe Pagcor P2.33 billion – COA

According to Tengco, the POGO licensee involved does not have a local incorporator whom they could go after — leading them to request to COA that the said receivable be removed already.

“There are no local incorporators po do’n sa licensee na ‘yon. In fact during the last exit conference I had requested the COA, kung maaari po sana ay stricken off na po ‘yong receivable na ‘yon dahil wala na po talagang magagawa at hindi na po mahahabol,” he said.

(There are no local incorporators for that licensee. In fact, during the last exit conference, I had requested the COA, if possible, that this receivable be stricken off since we cannot do anything to go after them.)


“‘Yon lang naman po ang naging problema sa mga receivables ng mga nakaraang overseas gaming licensees noon pong last administration,” he added.

(That’s the only problem we had with the receivables of the past overseas gaming licensees authorized by the last administration.)

Tengco, however, assured that the operator’s license has been canceled and that a lookout order has been issued.

Last June 2022 — days before President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s administration assumed office — COA announced in their audit report that Pagcor has yet to collect P2.328 billion as its share in the income of Pogos, over a year since the amount should have been obtained.

According to COA, this is part of the P2.97 billion in Pagcor’s income that should come from Pogos that were uncollected as of the end of 2021.

Of this amount, P2.328 billion, or 78 percent, had been outstanding for more than a year, part of it going as far back as 2017.

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“Out of the P2.328 billion accounts receivables outstanding for over 360 days, P815.902 million is under protest. Notwithstanding the accounts receivables under protest, the remaining P1.512 billion was uncollected for more than one to five years,” the COA pointed out.

TAGS: COA, Pagcor, POGOs

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