Tulfo questions Pagcor’s P500 million confidential fund in 2023

Tulfo questions Pagcor’s P500 million confidential fund in 2023

/ 08:36 PM February 01, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A P500 million confidential allocation was given to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) in 2023, and P120 million from the total allocation was spent and liquidated in just seven days, Senator Raffy Tulfo disclosed.

READ: PH gaming industry posts record-breaking 2023 take

Tulfo, in a Senate hearing on Thursday, questioned the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or Controlled Corporations (GCG) why there was a need to grant such a budget.


GCG Chairperson Atty. Marius Corpus defended this by saying that there’s an existing joint circular for the guidelines on the grant and authorization for intel or confidential funds.


“I know, Atty. Corpus. Ang tinatanong ko bakit kinakailangan na magkaroon ng confidential fund ang Pagcor?” asked Tulfo.

(I know, Atty. Corpus. What I am asking is: why is it necessary for Pagcor to have a confidential fund?)

According to Tulfo, Pagcor earlier justified their confidential budget for monitoring illegal gambling and groups terrorizing casinos.

The senator, however, pointed out that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are already doing these tasks as part of their mandate.

“Why still give them P500 million in confidential funds? It doesn’t make sense,” said Tulfo.

Later in the hearing, Pagcor Chairman Alejandro Tengco clarified that the secret budget they were given in 2023 is not yet fully utilized.


“Baka po ang nagastos doon ay wala [pang] kalahati, baka 30 percent lang po,” he said.

(Maybe less than half was spent there, maybe only 30 percent.)

Tengco then explained that in 2022, they were likewise given P107 million confidential allocation. This, according to him, was used to combat more or less 258 internet gaming licensees involved in criminal activities.

“That was the reason, Mr. Senator, that we had intel gathering, and kami po ang nakapagpasara ng ilang mga internet gaming licensees at nakapag deport po kami ng humigit kumulang po yatang 2,000,” Tengco explained.

(That was the reason, Mr. Senator, that we had an intel gathering and we were able to shut down some internet gaming licensees and we were able to deport approximately 2,000.)

READ: Pagcor chief: Over half of POGOs closed, left PH for Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos

Tulfo, who maintained that PNP and NBI are supposed to be doing this, instructed Pagcor to submit a list of the internet gaming licensees they supposedly closed down.

Tengco assured the lawmaker that his agency will provide the requested document.

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READ: Pagcor cuts 665 jobs from privatized casino

TAGS: confidential funds, Pagcor

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