MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) said on Friday the agency should not be blamed for the poor performance of many of the Filipino athletes in the London Olympics.
In a statement, Pagcor insisted that is has been implementing the same computation of remittances to Philippine amateur sports based on the approval of the Office of the President back in the 1990’s during the Ramos administration.
“The computation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s remittances to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) was not an arbitrary act of PAGCOR but is rather pursuant to a Presidential approval that dates back to the time of President Fidel Ramos,” said Pagcor.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) chairman Monico Puentevella earlier blamed Pagcor for the budget cut for sports.
He said has been asking Pagcor to restore the 5% gross savings share allocated for sports, as mandated in Republic Act 6847 and approved by former President Corazon Aquino.
Puentevella said the measly funding deprived the athletes of needed international exposure and massive training.
“Republic Act 6847 is very clear, when the late (Cory) Aquino implemented the law in 1991... sinasabi dun 5% ng kita ng Pagcor should be given to sports,” said the POC chairman said.
Puentevella admitted that the 5% Pagcor share was cut in half, or exactly P600 million during Ramos’ term.
But he stressed that Ramos was willing to fund sports programs whenever necessary.
Growth in allocation
Pagcor also said its contributions to the PSC have substantially grown through the years.
The agency said that from a P115 million allocation in 1990, its contributions went up to P594 million in 2011.
Pagcor added that there was even a substantial increase in the allocation for sports in the first two years of the current Aquino administration due to growth in the agency's revenues.
“In fact, the state-owned gaming firm’s remittances to the PSC from July 2010 to June 2012 amounted to P1.199 billion,” said Pagcor. “By the end of 2012, we are projecting Pagcor contributions to the PSC to reach P669.11 million.”
Pagcor added that the agency is the funding source of RA 9064 or the Sports Benefits and Incentives Act.
“The law provides the granting of cash incentives to past and present Filipino athletes and coaches who win in international sports competitions. From 2002 to June 2012, PAGCOR has already given more than P208 million in cash incentives to past and present Filipino achievers in the Olympics, Asian Games, SEA Games and Quadrennial World Championships.” -- With a report from Danny Buenafe, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau