In the Philippines and a senior opposition politician has reportedly suggested that his nation could sell off its estate of 47 casinos in order to raise much needed cash to help combat the local spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a Sunday report from CNN Philippines, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon (pictured) has also asked the country’s economic manager to review the value of state assets that could be immediately flogged so as to bring in funds to counter the potentially-deadly coronavirus strain and help the nation counter its growing annual budget deficit.

Easy pickings:

The Philippines has so far chalked up 335 deaths due to coronavirus while Drilon reportedly furthermore suggested that offloading the casino estate of the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) could bring in up to $5.92 billion in additional annual revenues. The Liberal Party politicians purportedly detailed that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) could moreover be sold off and is still yet to submit approximately $165.98 million in taxes after last year waiving agent claims worth approximately $28.25 million.

Drilon reportedly told CNN Philippines

“As I said before, the government does not have to look far to raise additional revenues. There are ‘low-hanging fruits’ the government can immediately tap to provide the much-needed resources for our country to survive this pandemic.”

Growing gap:

Drilon reportedly explained that government-administered social and health programs may suffer in the long run should the Philippines’ budget deficit continue to grow. He purportedly cited an investigation from the country’s Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez, in asserting that this annual shortfall is due to rise from 3.2% to 5.3% this year due to reduced taxes and increased expenditure on coronavirus-related programs.

Drilon reportedly told the news service…

“I hope our economic managers will move faster this time because the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will go beyond 2020.”