Coronavirus testing of 300 POGO workers in gated subdivision probed


Posted at May 29 2020 07:31 AM

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MANILA — Authorities are investigating the legal liability of those who participated in the coronavirus testing of Chinese gambling workers in the park of a gated village in Parañaque, Mayor Edwin Olivarez said Friday.

A local laboratory did not secure any permit from the barangay or city to screen some 300 workers of a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) hub in the park clubhouse of the BF Homes subdivision, he said.

"Pinatigil po natin sila dahil nga po illegal ang kanilang act. Hindi po dapat sa open space sa isang subdivision gawin ang mass testing," the mayor told DZMM.

(We stopped that because their act is illegal. Mass testing should not be done in the open space of a subdivision.)

"Iyon po'y dinala na natin sa legal office po natin at tayo po'y nagkakaroon ng proper investigation kung sino po ang dapat managot d'yan... para ito po'y maging tanda at hindi maulit na gawin po dito sa aming lungsod," he added.

(We brought the matter to our legal office and we are investigating who should be held liable there so that this would serve as a reminder and would not be repeated in our city.)

Olivarez said he was not aware if there were already results for the antibody testing of the Chinese whose names were listed by authorities.

A news report earlier said the Paranaque City Health Office has recorded a total of 702 people infected with the coronavirus disease in the city as of Thursday.

The government deems POGOs as part of the business process outsourcing industry that was allowed to reopen in areas under lockdown.

Critics of the reopening of POGOs cited alleged crimes linked to the industry, including bribery for the entry of Chinese workers, trafficking, prostitution, money laundering and tax violations, among others.

The Philippines has some 60 POGO license holders and over 200 service providers.