MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte aired his intention to limit the number of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in the Philippines, claiming it would be hard for the government to police them all if it allows the presence of too many gaming hubs in the country.
While POGOs have provided employment, Duterte insisted that government regulators will have difficulty in monitoring them if they are put up in every town and city in the country.
“Many Filipinos have benefited from jobs but you have to temper it also with the corruption. There is always the law enforcement. I am not only zeroing in on police, but I am warning them, there are a lot of, how do you call it, side effects of too many (POGOs),” the President said in a radio interview
“If you add more to this number presently operating you will not be able to police them all. So you have to set a number for that, it cannot be in every town and city about so many POGO games going on,” Duterte added.
Based on government data, around 130,000 Chinese nationals are working for POGOs, which generated around P1.6 billion in withholding taxes for the government in the first eight months of 2019.
The gaming hub industry was also put in the spotlight following several kidnapping incidents and other crimes involving POGO workers and Chinese citizens.
However, Duterte insisted that punishment under Philippine laws will be imposed on Chinese found guilty of violating the country’s laws. The Chief Executive added that China has committed not to interfere with the country’s legal processes. (Gerald Alayon/JGo/Currentph.com)