Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr known by his moniker “Bongbong” has announced that the country plans no immediate replacement of the gaming regulator’s head. PAGCOR chairwoman and CEO Andrea Domingo will remain in the position and will not be replaced by George Erwin Garcia, a lawyer whose name was floated on social media as a possible successor to Domingo.
Rumors Dismissed by New President
Under Domingo, the regulator has been able to improve the overall tax collection, resolve license disputes, and steer the industry towards a more digital and innovation-friendly way of doing business in the Philippines. Despite the e-sabong debacle, the regulator has mostly thrived, collecting a hefty tax penny for the coffers and making sure that consumers are protected.
Garcia’s name was first mentioned when he was appointed as Commissioner of the Commission on Elections in March by former president Rodrigo Duterte. The social media reports and rumors suggested that Garcia was next in line to replace Domingo, something that the man had been told by the new president himself.
However, press secretary Beatrix Rose Cruz-Angeles issued a statement on Friday, dismissing the rumors and confirming that Garcia will not step in the position and that no such change or appointment has been made. Domingo has been at the helm of the gambling regulator since May 2016 and she is well-respected in the industry and has been able to increase tax collection and start fighting illegal gambling.
PAGCOR in the Last Several Months
PAGCOR has been doing well over the past couple of months. It managed to collect record profits in the past six months and is very likely to continue bolstering its tax collection. POGOs have also caved to demands to honor their outstanding fees, with one-third of all amounts owed.
Meanwhile, the regulator has been investing in shelters and other community projects while helping the industry navigate the challenging landscape.