Disinformation has become a formidable adversary not just in politics but in the nuanced world of corporate dynamics, tainting public perception with the brushstrokes of falsehood. In the Philippines, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has been at the center of a viral storm of misinformation, rattling the very foundations of sound facts that should underpin public discourse. This blog post is dedicated to sifting through the disinformation that has besmirched PAGCOR and shedding light on their factual standpoints, thus enabling the public to form opinions based on truth rather than falsehoods.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is not new to controversy or scrutiny. As the gaming regulatory body in the country, it shoulders the significant responsibility of managing the nook and cranny of the Philippines’ thriving gaming industry, all while balancing the scales of economic contribution and responsible gambling practices. Its recent brush with disinformation is a pivotal moment – where the truth stands to be heard over the cacophony of malicious untruths.

Inciting undue panic and concern among PAGCOR’s employees, the misinformation in question was ignited by a social media post from an agency staffer. The post purportedly unveiled the agency’s plans to spend a significant sum on renovating the Casino Filipino branch in Angeles City, Pampanga. The claim – that PAGCOR would dish out a staggering Php500 million (8.3 million Euros) for the casino’s revamp – has been categorically dismissed as false by PAGCOR Chairman and CEO, Alejandro Tengco.

Tengco’s counter-statement is clear and unequivocal: the renovation costs will be covered by the lessor of the building, not PAGCOR. This crucial detail, absent from the employee’s narrative, paints an entirely different picture from the alleged plan to use public funds for private premises. Tengco articulated this: “We do not own the building where [Casino Filipino] Angeles is located, that is why we made arrangements with the lessor to shoulder the renovation expenses because they are the property owner, and PAGCOR is just the lessee.”

He iterated that this arrangement is neither uncommon nor unethical, as it’s an industry standard where lessees and lessors share the burden and benefits of improving the leased spaces to cater to the clientele. Additionally, the same strategy is purportedly being considered for the Casino Filipino branch in Bacolod, aligning with the corporation’s broader vision to adapt and enhance its offerings in tandem with its client’s demands.

The more unsettling piece of information that yielded disquiet was the veiled assertion that 10,000 employees would face job loss due to PAGCOR’s planned privatization. Tengco was swift in debunking this, highlighting the strategic – yet autonomous – aspect of the planned privatization. According to Tengco, the transition to privatization is forecasted to commence no earlier than the last quarter of 2025, ensuring ample time to prepare and mitigate effects on the workforce.

Tengco’s clarification is imperative in dispelling the all-encompassing dread that the viral misinformation promised. He stressed, “That number is very misleading because the 10,000 employee count is our total workforce.” He went further to delineate that while PAGCOR’s casino operations might be phased out, the corporate entity will continue with many of its current staff in divisions such as regulatory, enforcement, monitoring, and electronic gaming licensing units, among others.

In an era where social media is the town crier for the masses, the onus falls heavily on authoritative bodies like PAGCOR to ensure not just the accurate dissemination of information but also to be actively vigilant in countering misdirected narratives that stand to harm its reputation and sow discord among its stakeholders.

The incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of a concerted effort towards transparent communication, where the facts aren’t just correct but also effectively articulated to the public. PAGCOR, like any entity, is susceptible to public opinion. Still, its vociferous approach in denouncing and correcting misinformation sets a potent precedent for other governmental and corporate entities to follow suit with unyielding integrity.

Discontent – be it from within the ranks or wily narrators in the digital underbelly – must be met head-on, rigorously investigated, and acclaimed or dismissed with caveat. In the specific case of PAGCOR, each claim that breaches the citadel of its integrity requires a judicious and publicized inquiry, culminating in a definitive stand that basks in the glow of authenticity.

The citizenry, too, bears a burden of vigilance – to question, to verify, and to seek the verity obscured in the vast landscape of information. In an age where trust in institutions wavers like a ship on stormy seas, it is imperative that the torchbearers of governance and commerce illuminate the detours that lead astray and lead with an unwavering commitment to transparency.

In the crucible of disinformation, PAGCOR emerges not unscathed, but enlightened. Its battle cry against the discontents and miens of misinformation rings not just an assertion of its own identity but a clarion call for accountability and authenticity. In walking this path, the corporation paints a guidebook for all who navigate the treacherous waters of perception, where the course is set by the compass of truth.

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