The Philippine casino regulator said on Thursday that it has donated PHP2 billion (US$39 million) to the Office of the President for funding the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the country.
A Thursday statement from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) quoted its head, Andrea Domingo, as saying: “The PHP2 billion was remitted to the Socio-Civic Projects Fund (SCPF) under the Office of the President in response to Proclamation No.922, declaring a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines brought about by the Covid-19 virus.”
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Thursday that Metro Manila would be on a month-long lockdown in order to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which was classified as a pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organization. Mr Duterte said that the country would restrict entry for travellers from countries with local transmission, and suspend domestic travel to and from Metro Manila from March 15 to April 14, subject to daily review.
“The number of confirmed Covid-19 patients in the Philippines is rising and President Rodrigo Duterte already declared a state of public health emergency because of this,” stated Ms Domingo. “We want to help the concerned agencies in the fight against and containment of this deadly disease. Hence, we immediately provided the PHP2 billion funding which we directly remitted to the SCPF,” she added.
Pagcor’s Thursday statement also noted that the agency’s “sustained income” from its gaming operations enabled it to allocate “hefty amounts” to fund various projects of the country’s government.
But Ms Domingo was quoted by local media outlets on Wednesday as saying that the gaming sector in the Philippines was likely to miss a target of PHP290 billion for gaming revenues this year, due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus.
The casino regulator said in a separate statement on Wednesday that all applications and requests relating to gaming licensing matters, accreditations, casino operations would now have to be processed online, “until such state of public health emergency is lifted”.
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