Ongpin appeals to Pagcor anew
Businessman Roberto V. Ongpin has appealed to the state-controlled Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to reconsider his offer to donate a 49-percent stake in gaming technology provider Philweb Corp. to the gaming regulator.
The businessman also amended his original offer – which Pagcor earlier rejected – by stating that his donation could be used exclusively for the establishment of a nationwide network of drug rehabilitation centers.
“I am a firm believer in the President’s drive against the drug menace,” Ongpin said in a letter addressed to Pagcor chief Andrea Domingo and the board dated Aug.19. “And as he has pointed out, the elimination of drug lords and drug pushers will not succeed unless this is complemented by an effective drug rehabilitation program.”
Some months before the Philweb license was to expire, Philweb had engaged in a serious study of drug rehabilitation centers and how many other countries in the world such as in the US and in Europe were addressing this need, Ongpin said.
Ongpin said Philweb already identified a site near Atimonan, Quezon which had been used as a staging area during the construction of Balesin Island Club.
He said Philweb had appropriated P100 million per year -equivalent to about 10 percent of its profits – plus P2 to P3 million per month to maintain and sustain this center.
Ongpin also argued that the correct value of his stake should be P20 billion, referring to Philweb’s market capitalization before Pagcor’s decision not to renew the license to service the network of e-Games nationwide.
The market value of the stake has since then dropped to around P4 to P5 billion following this regulatory stumbling block.
The businessman said Pagcor could accept the donation after an appropriate period when the “true value of Philweb had been restored” and henceforth auction it off.
“While one could argue that gambling is undesirable, nothing could be more pernicious than the drug menace which destroys the very fabric of our youth and our society, and which admirably, the President has chosen as his first priority.”/rga