Pagcor: Contract with third-party POGO auditor under review

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 24) — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has placed its contract with its third-party auditor for the country's offshore gaming operators (POGO) under review.

Pagcor chairman Al Tengco said he ordered the review a month after his appointment in August last year.

"I decided in September na dapat ma-review natin 'yung kontrata [that the contract should be reviewed]," Tengco told CNN Philippines.

"And I can tell you that very soon, we're coming out with a decision whether we will still allow the third party auditor to continue rendering services for us or the possibility of terminating the contract," he added.

According to the Pagcor, the contract was awarded to Global ComRCI in December 2017. The terms and conditions and the company's performance are currently being evaluated.

"We assure the senators that the review will soon be finished and released at the proper time," the state-run gaming regulator said.

Sen. Win Gatchalian earlier warned of legal action against Pagcor officials over its "questionable" multibillion-peso contract with Global ComRCI.

While Global ComRCI appears to have met the ₱1-billion operating capital requirement, it was certified by a certain Soleil Chartered Bank, which is not registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Gatchalian noted.

READ: Gatchalian hits Pagcor for questionable 3rd party auditor

Crime-linked POGOs?

"There have been no criminal activities or kidnapping-related incidents of workers in the offshore licensing industry for over three months," Pagcor maintained.

It emphasized that this was a result of a September meeting with law enforcement agencies combatting illegal gaming operations.

Pagcor was responding to allegations made during Monday's Senate hearing that the agency had failed to take immediate actions against delinquent firms.

According to Gatchalian, Pagcor continued to allow the operation of two POGO service providers — MOA Cloudzone Corp. and Brickhartz Technology Inc. — despite being implicated in kidnapping cases.

Pagcor said one of the cases was dismissed last year, while the other is still under investigation.

The agency has vowed to punish POGOs found to be violating the law. But it also promised to "nurture" the POGO industry, as it believes "it has much more to contribute to the Philippine economy and nation building."