Ongpin sweetens offer to Pagcor | Inquirer Business

Ongpin sweetens offer to Pagcor

/ 03:15 AM August 20, 2016

Following the state-controlled Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. (Pagcor)’s rejection of his offer to donate a 49-percent stake in gaming technology provider Philweb Corp., businessman Roberto V. Ongpin has sweetened his donation offer to complement the government’s antidrug abuse program.

Hoping for a reconsideration of Pagcor’s stance against Philweb, the businessman amended his original offer by stating that his donation 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 Pagcor 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 Philweb’s license to service Pagcor’s e-Games network was to expire, Ongpin said the technology firm 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 Philweb already identified a site near Atimonan, Quezon that was earlier used as a staging area during the construction of leisure estate 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 P4 billion from P5 billion after the President singled out Ongpin as an “oligarch who must be destroyed.”

Philweb’s license to operate Pagcor’s 286 e-Games outlets was not renewed when it expired on Aug. 10.

Ongpin 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.”

The businessman proposed the creation of a drug rehabilitation agency to which the donation could be funneled.  He said this should be managed jointly by the government and the private sector to ensure the effective use of donated funds.

“This may, however, take time as it may require legislation although I personally believe that it could be accomplished by a presidential executive order,” Ongpin said.

Ongpin said he hoped to be forgiven for making this one last attempt to save the livelihood of some 6,000 individuals and their families who rely on the network of 286 e-Games outlets across the country.   As a consequence, he said the operators of e-Games cafes who had invested around P1.8 billion to build the network would be wiped out.

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“Most importantly, the donation of my 771 million shares in Philweb which under normal circumstances would be worth P20 billion, is rendered valueless,” he said. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

TAGS: Business, businessman, economy, News, Pagcor, Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp., Roberto V. Ongpin

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