Senator Joel Villanueva on Tuesday cited several ills brought about by the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) business in the Philippines.
Villanueva said there are P50 billion in unpaid taxes for 2019.
The country also has P22.6 billion in cold cash allowed to slip through Philippine borders.
The Philippines also has some 6,678 illegal foreign workers working in licensed POGO outfits.
A total of 733 fugitives also entered the country in 2019 before being deported.
Villanueva also said dozens of women are trafficked into prostitution.
“A real estate bubble is waiting to burst,” he also said.
Government agencies are corrupted by individuals to legitimize the entry of illegal foreign workers, he said.
“These are some of the negative effects that have been brought to light by the different Senate committees investigating into the proliferation of Philippine offshore gaming operations,” he said.
“It is clear as daylight how this sector is circumventing our laws and shredding our country’s moral fiber. What’s worse is that this sector is detrimental to our workforce because it does not create jobs for Filipinos. The problems are staring us right before our eyes,” said Villanueva.
Contrary to popular notion, this sector merely generates 0.04 percent of the country’s gross domestic products. It’s marginal contribution will not be felt if its operations are stopped, said Villanueva.
“Thus, we reiterate our call to put an end to POGOs immediately. The negative effects clearly outweigh the supposed benefits,” said Villanueva. /Stacy Ang