Cayetano: With ECQ or no ECQ, I am against POGO
MANILA, Philippines — Rules should apply to all, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) allowed the resumption of its operations of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, Cayetano said he shares the same opinion as House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr., who has been vocal of his disapproval of POGO operations in the country.
“I’m the best and worst person to ask because whether may ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) or wala, I am against Pogos. I don’t believe in gaming or gambling. I think that the damage to morality and society is worse than that,” Cayetano said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“Having said that, we do have our laws. Pagcor laws, etcetera. Sa akin, basta’t pare-pareho rules lahat sa BPO industry, sa cell centers, walang palakasan and everyone follows the same rules. Kung sasabihin kailangan nakahouse ang employees, may social distancing kailangan sumunod sila,” he added.
Asked if he believes that Pogos indeed follow health protocols such as social distancing, Cayetano said this is where enforcement comes in.
“Sa lahat na pinag-uusapan na exemption sa paglipat sa GCQ, whether it’s allowing seniors out, whether it’s allowing religious gatherings, there’s a difference between the theory and the enforcement,” Cayetano said.
“If you look for example ‘yung situation na nangyari sa Dasma, BGC (Bonifacio Global City. It wasn’t a rules problem per se and exemption problem. It was the enforcement. Sa lahat ng bibigyan ng exemption, maging BPO yan maging Pogo yan, please follow the rules,” the House Speaker said.
Pagcor earlier temporarily suspended POGO operations in Luzon in compliance with the ECQ imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
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