With the national government equipped with P1.5 trillion to address the COVID-19 crisis, the resumption of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) in the country.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pointed out that the Duterte administration can adjust its 2019 and 2020 budgets as stated by the Bayanihan Act.

Drilon plans to file a resolution inquiring why POGO would be allowed to resume while it falls under gambling and is not an essential service.

The senator also wants to question Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairperson Andrea Domingo who regulates POGO “for the sake of transparency.”

Drilon explained that POGO does not employ Filipinos and it mainly provides jobs for Chinese nationals to cater to Chinese POGO operators and clients.

In addition, POGO has long been linked to criminal activities like human trafficking, prostitution, drugs, kidnapping, and tax evasion.

Contrary to what the Palace claims, POGO cannot be considered as part of the business process outsourcing sector (BPO) according to the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

Unlike BPO companies, POGO does not register with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) or the Board of Investments (BOI), with the majority of employees coming from foreign labor to support its operations.

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