MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday urged the government to review policies and regulate the entry of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation workers, especially those coming from China.
Robredo questioned why the Philippines had been "housing" offshore casinos that are illegal in China.
Some 138,000 foreign nationals, mostly Chinese, are working in offshore gaming, according to an initial tally released in April by an inter-agency task force mandated to collate the number of POGO workers.
"Tingin ko kailangan talagang balikan iyong polisiya, tingnan iyong mga nandito, ano iyong ginagawa nila, ligal ba iyong pag-stay nila nang matagal," Robrero said.
(I think we need to review the policy, check how many are here, what are they doing, are they staying illegally for prolonged period of time?)
"[B]akit sila pinapayagan? Tapos iligal sa kanila kaya pumupunta dito. Kung iligal sa kanila, bakit tayo iyong nagha-house?" she said.
(Why were they allowed to operate? If it is illegal in their territory, why are we housing it then?)
On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in Manila appealed to the Philippine government to address the illegal recruitment of Chinese nationals and the maltreatment they allegedly suffered here.
The government will not allow any foreigners to suffer from wrongdoings while in the country, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in response to the embassy's statement.
Malacañang said authorities would run after illegal recruiters for POGOs.