MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine sports remain one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
The gaming agency on Tuesday stressed that it has all-out support for local sports, as shown in the increase in the monthly contribution that it is remitting to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
PAGCOR chairman and chief executive Andrea Domingo bared in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila that her office has been averaging P140 million to P145 million in monthly contributions to the PSC coffers, including a total of P159 million just last month.
By her estimate, Domingo said more than P4 billion had already been contributed by the agency to Philippine sports since the time she was appointed to the post three years ago.
"Since the administration of President Duterte which started on July 1, 2016 up until the present time, PAGCOR has remitted P4.4 billion to the PSC," Domingo announced.
Part of the PAGCOR contribution, according to Domingo, goes to the incentives given to athletes who won in international tournaments, as well as for training and pension of athletes and coaches.
In some cases, the agency also extends support to several national sports associations such as wrestling, bowling, chess, dancesport, and taekwondo.
PAGCOR recently donated P852 million for the renovation and rehabilitation of the country's three major sports complexes -- the Rizal Memorial Complex, Philsports, and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium -- ahead of the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year.
"I heard they've already started doing it at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex at this time," said Domingo.
Also in line with the SEA Games' staging here, PAGCOR has released a P200-million check to the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) as a sponsorship package, according to Domingo. The money was given two weeks ago.
"We have granted Phisgoc (financial assistance) based on the memorandum from the President exhorting everybody to help with the hosting of the SEA Games," she explained.
Domingo was thus saddened to learn about the ongoing leadership dispute among the country's top sports officials, especially as the SEA Games are just five months away.
"Kasi malaking kahihiyan sa bansa natin kapag hindi natuloy (ang SEA Games) at magkaroon ng kaguluhan na ganyan," said Domingo. "I am just hoping and praying that everything will be alright just in time for us to host the SEA Games."
On talks about Phisgoc possibly being dissolved, Domingo said she has already instructed PAGCOR assistant vice president Jimmy Bondoc on the matter.
Despite the leadership squabble, the agency will remain committed in supporting Philippine sports, according to Domingo.
"We'll always support and have already given our support," said Domingo. "'Yung mga kaguluhan, wala naman kami diyan."
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