Congressman calls on Pagcor to cut intelligence and ads

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has an annual intelligence budget of 250 million pesos ($5.74 million), according to Rufus Rodriguez, a congressman from Cagayan de Oro who spoke at budget hearings for the government-owned casino operator. He urged Pagcor to utilize law enforcement agencies for investigations instead and put the savings into greater charitable support. Rodriguez also criticized Pagcor’s annual 460 million peso advertising budget, saying the company lacks competition.

Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas testified that his agency’s intelligence budget had fallen to 10 million pesos from 360 million pesos under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who left office in 2010. Rojas said only 6 million pesos of the 10 million pesos was being spent. Arroyo and several former officials of the agency face criminal charges over allegedly misusing its intelligence budget. Rojas said PCSO’s advertising and public relations budget has fallen over the same period to 275 million pesos from 1.8 billion pesos.