Ensure Pogo compliance to protocols vs new coronavirus, PAGCOR told
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Joel Villanueva has called on the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to ensure the compliance of Philippine offshore gaming operations (Pogo) workers — who were mostly Chinese — to health protocols being enforced by local health officials against the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In a statement Friday, Villanueva, who chairs the Senate committee on labor, said the state gaming regulator “should fulfill its mandate, and not merely rely on other agencies” to conduct surveillance on industries they are supposed to monitor.
“They issue licenses to Pogo workers so they can work legitimately, thus it is Pagcor’s job to ensure workers comply with relevant health regulations. If there is any doubt with regard to health protocols, they can always seek guidance from the DOH (Department of Health),” he said.
Currently, there are three confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the country while 215 patients are under DOH monitoring.
As of posting time, the new coronavirus strain has so far killed over 600 people, mostly in China, and infected over 30,000 others from several countries.
The lawmaker also said that Pogo workers who returned from areas where there is 2019-nCoV outbreak should strictly observe quarantine procedures implemented by the DOH and undergo 14-day quarantine period.
“All government agencies and regulators should issue related guidelines bearing in mind DOH’s protocol as the bare minimum,” he said.
Villanueva then asked Pogo operators to operate within the bounds of Philippine laws and statutes.
“Any regulation enforced as a result of the nCov outbreak takes into consideration public safety and welfare. If they cannot comply with our laws, regulations, and standards, they have no place to do business in the Philippines,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.