DOF not keen on Ramon Ang's $10-B offer for PAGCOR

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2010 05:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2010 01:49 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The government is not satisfied with the $10-billion offer of businessman and San Miguel Corp. Vice-Chairman Ramon S. Ang for Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

"That's too cheap," said Finance Undersecretary John Philip Sevilla, who heads the department's privatization group.

Sevilla said the government is not in a hurry to privatize PAGCOR since there are no official proposals to buy the state's gaming agency,

"We're not concerned about personalities. What we're saying is, if PAGCOR is privatized, it should be done through open, transparent and competitive process," he said.

Several state assets are being eyed for privatization to shore up the government's budgetary deficit.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima earlier said that only the commercial side of PAGCOR will be privatized while regulatory control would be retained by the government.

PAGCOR contributes to the social fund of the Office of the President.

In the first half, PAGCOR remitted P5.04 billion to the government, lower than the P5.488 billion turned over in the same period in 2009.

Under its charter, PAGCOR is mandated to remit at least 50% of its annual earnings to the government.

It booked an unaudited P29.78 billion income in 2009, compared to P29.61 billion in 2008.