Fil-Chinese business wants illegal POGOs out

Filipino-Chinese businessmen in the country deplored the illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in the country as they strongly called for the closure of unregistered firms and deportation of unregistered aliens.

On Monday’s, Oct. 3, joint hearing by the Senate committees on ways and means and public order and dangerous drugs, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) and the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce urged the Senate to weigh the economic benefits against the social impact arising from the controversial industry.

The FFCCCII statement, read by spokesperson Wilson Flores, categorically stated it is “against illegal and unregistered POGOs” and the presence of their employees in the country without permits and valid government visas.

“Illegal POGOs must be closed and their alien employees deported,” the group added.

“All POGOs and their employees, whether Filipinos or foreigners, must follow the relevant laws and regulations, obtain the necessary permits and pay the correct taxes and fees.”

The proliferation of POGOs, on one hand, has also exposed its dark side that includes drugs, crimes and illegal activities, including kidnapping. These have come to adversely affect the image of the country.

FFCCCII, however, also cited the contributions of the POGO firms in terms of taxes and fees that brought some economic benefits to the country. The group cited its impact on employment generation, demand for commercial and residential real estate, increased consumption in goods, and higher demand for services.

Nonetheless, FFCCCII said they would abide by the recommendations of the Senate on the issue.

Meantime, the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce said that as businessmen their concern is the peace and order situation in the country.

“When peace and order situation is good, tourists will come into the country as well as investors,” the group said.

The Philippine Chinese Chamber would like the Senate to get to the bottom of the problem and decide whether the “economic gains will outweigh the social problems that is being generated” from the POGO operations.

The group also observed of the quick action from the police authorities following a Senate hearing last month conducted by Senator Ronald “Bato” De La Rosa, putting the peace and order situation under control.



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