Pagcor tells Philweb it wants bidding
The state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) prefers to award a new contract for e-Games cafes through public bidding.
In a Dec. 12 letter addressed to Gregorio Ma. Araneta III, the new chair and controlling shareholder of gaming technology provider Philweb Corp., Pagcor chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo said any contract renewal must conform with procurement laws.
Domingo cited a meeting between Pagcor and Philweb officials where it was explained that the selection of the service provider for Pagcor’s gaming operations would be in accordance to Republic Act No. 9184.
RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act provides that the procurement of goods, infrastructure projects and consulting services should be competitive and transparent, and therefore should undergo competitive bidding.
Philweb’s intellectual property license agreement (IPLMA) with Pagcor expired last Aug. 10 and has not been renewed.
The agreement covers a network of internet cafes exclusively dedicated to casino games including baccarat, blackjack, various slot machine games, video poker and others.
Domingo said in the letter disclosed by Philweb Tuesday that “merely renewing the IPLMA without going through RA 9184, is no longer feasible.”
“The situation when the IPLMA was originally implemented by Pagcor (Philweb was essentially the service provider) more or less a decade ago is no longer the same,” she said.
“At any rate we would like to assure you that we are expediting the procurement process,” Domingo said.
Last October, Roberto V. Ongpin agreed to sell his 53.76 percent stake in Philweb to Araneta III for P2 billion. The deal involves 771.65 million shares of Philweb priced at P2.60 a share.
After his divestment, Philweb said its former chair Ongpin— who was named by President Duterte as an “oligarch” whom he would bring down—would have no further involvement with Philweb.
With the divestment of Ongpin, the new management of Philweb is now reapplying for the continuation of its license.
Some 6,000 individuals and their families rely on the Pagcor’s network of 286 e-Games outlets across the country.
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