Posted: Monday | March 30, 2015 | 4:30 PM

 For the first time in nearly three decades of its existence, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) remitted P5 billion in total cash dividends to the National Treasury.

 PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said the P5 billion is “the biggest amount in a single check ever issued by our corporation in its history.”

 Naguiat added that with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005.

With its recent P5 billion remittance, PAGCOR’s total cash dividends to the National Treasury under its current management now totals roughly P11.5 billion. It also maintained PAGCOR’s position as one of the GOCCs in the elite “Billionaires’ Club” or agencies that consistently remitted cash dividends of at least a billion pesos to the government.

 According to Naguiat, the purpose of declaring dividends is to be able to return good earnings to the shareholders of a company. “PAGCOR’s shareholders are the Filipino people. We are giving back to them the fruits of a well-run GOCC,” he said.

 Naguiat further cited that it is only during the term of the present management of PAGCOR that it started remitting cash dividends to the government. Apart from cash dividends, the corporation also remits (on a monthly basis) the 50% government share from PAGCOR’s earnings to the National Treasury. “Our total remittances to the National Treasury in 2014 alone amounted to P14.2 billion,” he added.

 Last year, PAGCOR’s total contributions to nation-building (that includes remittances to national coffers and its other mandated beneficiaries) reached P21.68 billion. This is the highest contribution ever made by PAGCOR under Naguiat’s leadership.

 Naguiat also said that PAGCOR remains to be the number one non-tax revenue source of the Philippines government. “We generate income from our gaming and regulatory operations,” he said. Meantime, the biggest revenue generators for our government are the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs. Their earnings emanate from collections in taxes and customs duties.

 “Under our watch, we will continue to ensure that PAGCOR’s revenues will go where they are purposely intended – that is, to nation-building and to the Filipinos. Through transparent leadership and judicious use of funds, we will continue to embark on long-term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. Foremost of which is the ongoing school building project in public schools. We want to leave to the youth a legacy that will benefit many generations to come,” Naguiat said.

 To date, PAGCOR has already given P7 billion to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Education (DepEd) for the construction of thousands of classrooms in public schools nationwide.

According to Naguiat, PAGCOR is currently in talks with DepEd and DPWH for the additional funding for the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” school building program. “As early as now we are preparing to construct more classrooms for our public school students for their requirements next school year,” he said.