Drilon: No to Pogos regardless of health emergency | Inquirer News

Drilon: No to Pogos regardless of health emergency

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 06:43 PM May 02, 2020

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, ask officials of the health department, airline industry and tourism sector to give them an update on the impact of the 2019 nCoV in the country’s tourism industry Tuesday’s public hearing, February 11, 2020. (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

FILE – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, chairperson of the Committee on Tourism, ask officials of the health department, airline industry and tourism sector to give them an update on the impact of the 2019 nCoV in the country’s tourism industry Tuesday’s public hearing, February 11, 2020. (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines —Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Saturday said that Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) should not be allowed to operate “regardless of the health emergency.”

He said this after the government allowed Pogo industries to partially operate during lockdown.

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The senator said it would be difficult to enforce social distancing in Pogo industries as usually its offices are usually crowded with up to 30 workers.

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“Regardless of the health emergency, hindi dapat magkaroon ng POGO. Lalo na ngayon, how will you enforce the social distancing diyan sa mga Pogo operators? Nakikita mo naman. Walang additional employment ito. Pangalawa, it is common knowledge na sa isang bahay may 30 Pogo employees,” the senator said over radio station DWIZ.

(Even now, how can you enforce the social distancing for Pogo operators? You have seen it. They do not have additional employment. Second, it is common knowledge that there are 30 Pogo employees in one roof.)

Drilon also said it is “insulting” to liken Pogos to business processing outsourcing (BPOs) companies.

“Ang sabi nga, if the POGOs look like a duck, swim like a duck, quack like a duck, it must be a duck. Baluktot sa akin iyang ganyang interpretation. Nakakainsulto na sabihin mong BPO industry ang POGO,” the senator said.

(They said that if the Pogos look like a duck, swim like a duck, quack like a duck, it must be a duck. That interpretation to me is twisted. It is insulting to say the Pogos are BPO industry.)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Pogos are BPOs, which is one of the businesses permitted to adapt work from home scheme and skeleton workforce during the quarantine period.

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Drilon even noted that BPO companies get their licenses from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) or the Board of Investments (BOI) while Pogos are registered with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

“Ang PAGCOR, sa batas, ay nagbibigay ng license sa gambling industry, hindi sa BPO,” Drilon said.

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(Under the law, Pagcor gives license to gambling industry, not BPOs.)

TAGS: coronavirus Philippines, Marcy Teodoro, Nation, Police

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