Senator Jinggoy Estrada on Monday, October 3 took to task the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in deporting the 48, 782 foreign employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) whose license to operate have been revoked by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
As of now, the BI has begun processing the visa cancellation of these POGO employees.
“Ang ating hamon ngayon sa BI ay siguruhin na maipapatupad nila ang deportation ng mga illegal aliens na ito sa loob ng itinakdang 59 na araw at hindi hayaan ang anumang ilegal na transaksyon para manatili o magtagal ang kanilang pamamalagi sa ating bansa (Our challenge to the BI right now is to make sure they will immediately start the deportation of these illegal aliens within 59 days and to thwart any illegal transactions to make them stay even longer here in our country),” Estrada said in a statement.
Estrada also said the move of the BI and PAGCOR is aligned with his earlier pronouncement urging for a crackdown on illegal or unlicensed offshore gaming operations in the country.
“There are no economic gains whatsoever in the continuing stay of unlicensed POGOs and their workers insofar as the government is concerned,” he said.
“It would be unfair, to say the least, to the 34 PAGCOR-approved POGOs and their respective employees who are being subjected to five percent (5%) gross gaming revenue and 25 percent withholding tax on gross income respectively, to allow them to remain sans any tax obligations,” he added.
He further said the cancellation of the license to operate POGOs would necessitate the cancellation of visas of aliens since there’s no reason for them to stay in the country.