POGO industry source of cash for gov't, Palace says on calls for resumption of ops

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 21 2020 02:55 PM

POGO industry source of cash for gov't, Palace says on calls for resumption of ops 1
The Phil-Asian Gaming Expo features offshore games targeting bettors outside the Philippines. Games can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Photos taken at the SMX Convention Center. July 12, 2019. Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- Philippine offshore gaming operations provide the government with cash resources, Malacañang said Tuesday after the Department of Finance said it is looking at reopening the industry even during the coronavirus crisis.

The government will weigh the risks and benefits that it could gain should POGO operations be allowed to resume, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Yung pagbubukas ng POGO ay kabahagi sa suma-total na dapat desisyunan ng Presidente," Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

(The reopening of POGOs is among matters that need to be decided by the President.)

"So ang POGO po ay kabahagi po 'yan siguro ng isang industriya na nagbibigay ng cash resource sa Presidente, sa pamahalaan at ang tatanungin po natin ay ano ang risk na pinopose ng operation sa POGO?" he said.

(POGOs are part of an industry that provides the President, and our government with cash resources. Our question will be what risks does the reopening of the POGO industry pose?)

POGOs are mostly run by Chinese operators with a workforce largely coming from China, where the new coronavirus disease is believed to have originated.

Last month, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) barred skeletal workforces at POGO sites as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19.

The operation of POGOs had brought to the Philippines an influx of workers from China, where the coronavirus outbreak began.