Senator Win Gatchalian wants the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to conduct an inquiry into the alleged anomalous procurement of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) of a third party auditor in charge of determining the gross gaming revenues of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the country.
In a resolution filed on January 30, Gatchalian said the inquiry should aim to identify accountability and make amendments to the procurement laws, if necessary, about the alleged irregularities in the procurement of Global ComRCI Consortium, the third party auditor contracted by PAGCOR for the POGO industry.
“It is imperative that the seemingly anomalous government procurement and public expenditure must be examined in order to maintain the trust and confidence of the people to the government,” said Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
The resolution follows findings at a recent hearing conducted by the Committee showing that PAGCOR failed to comply with existing procurement rules in contracting a 10-year P6 billion contract with the third party auditor in 2017.
“Kailangang busisiin nang maigi ang kwestiyonableng pagpili sa Global ComRCI bilang third party auditor ng mga POGO. Kung mayroong paglabag sa batas, kailangan ring malaman kung sino ang mga nagkasala o lumabag sa batas,” the senator added.
For instance, procurement laws require a contractor to have an operating capital of at least P1 billion pesos. To comply with such a requirement, the third party auditor Global ComRCI submitted a bank certification issued by Soleil Chartered Bank which was later confirmed as not authorized to issue such a bank document because it is not registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Further, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has certified that no corporation or partnership under the name of Global ComRCI is registered with the agency. Also, its office and place of operation cannot not be located and has not even secured business permits from the local governments of Makati and Manila where it has supposedly held offices and operations.
Gatchalian emphasized that the lack of technical capability of the third party auditor to determine the correct gross gaming revenue of POGOs in the country may lead to underpayment of the 2% franchise fee to PAGCOR and the 5% gaming tax to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).