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Pagcor appoints Wilma Eisma as president and COO

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has appointed lawyer Wilma Eisma as its new president and COO.
Pagcor president

Eisma succeeds Juanito Sansosa Jr, who resigned as president and COO in January.

The Philippine regulator confirmed yesterday (18 April) that Eisma had taken her oath of office before Lucas Bersamin, Pagcor’s executive secretary. This was witnessed by Pagcor chair Alejandro Tengco.

Eisma earned her law degree from Atena de Manula University. Before joining Pagcor, she was a member of the board of directors at the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Previously, Eisma was the first female administrator and chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. She also held leadership roles at PMFTC – the Philippine affiliate of Philip Morris International – and at the department of trade and industry.

Pagcor president
Wilma Eisma previously held roles at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and the Department of Trade and Industry. Photo credit: Pagcor

“We are happy to welcome attorney Wilma Eisma as Pagcor’s new president and COO,” said Tengco.

“We know she will be a great asset and her vast experience in both the government and private sectors will surely be put to good use here.”

Pagcor privatisation move

Eisma’s appointment comes as Pagcor prepares to privatise its casinos, a process that will be implemented in late 2025. This timeframe will allow Pagcor to focus on the needs of those affected by the process.

The privatisation will see Pagcor’s casino business spun off to a private bidder, giving Pagcor more room to invest in expansions and upgrades.

In September last year Pagcor announced that it would make the move to becoming a “purely regulatory” body. This kick-started the privatisation process, which Pagcor had said it was “seriously considering” in March 2023.

In February, Tengco released a statement criticising “disinformation” being spread about the privatisation. This was in reference to a social media post. The post claimed that Pagcor would spend ₱500m (£7.1m/€8.3m) to repair its Casino Filipino branch in Angeles City before the privatisation.

Tengco denied the rumour and said that Pagcor would not spend money on the renovation.

“There is no truth in Mr Samson’s allegations because the said renovation will be borne by the lessor,” said Tengco at the time. “Pagcor will not spend a single cent on the renovation.”

Last month Pagcor announced that it would lower rates for operators from 1 April. The rates were lowered by an average of five per cent. Pagcor made the move to attract more illegal operators to apply for licences in the Philippines.

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