By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Joel Villanueva said the government should start tightening its regulation on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and “reversing” the sector’s negative impacts to the country.
He said the government should take advantage of the imposition of moratorium on the issuance of new licenses to POGOs, as confirmed by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo on Monday.
“While we welcome the moratorium on issuing new POGO licenses, the government should remain vigilant against the ills brought about by this industry,” Villanueva said in a statement.
“With the moratorium in place, the government must begin working on reversing the damage this sector has caused and putting the right regulatory measures in place,” he appealed.
The chair of the Senate labor committee said measures should address the “unintended consequences” of POGOs, such as the displacement of Filipino workers supposedly due to the entry of illegal foreign workers.
The effects also include the spike in real estate prices, as well as crimes involving foreign nationals, he added.
Villanueva said the new rules should also quell concerns on possible espionage by POGO workers.
“Our government should also carefully study the benefits of this industry vis-a-vis the issues that have cropped up from the rise of this industry,” he noted.
Earlier, he said the Senate labor panel will look into the operations of offshore gaming companies in the country.