Work permit applications dip 49% as many POGOs shut down
MANILA, Philippines — The shutdown of many Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) amid the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced by almost half the number of foreign nationals who applied for permits to work in the Philippines, according to the labor department.
A Bureau of Local Employment report said the number of alien employment permits (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from January to September this year dropped to 73,640 from 158,710 during the same period last year.
An AEP is one of the requirements needed by foreign nationals to work in the Philippines.
“This showed a substantial decrease of 49.69 percent or 61,453 AEPs compared to the total issuance in 2019, due to the inbound travel restrictions of foreign nationals and limited operations of POGO-related establishments,” the DOLE said.
Of the total AEPs issued, 62,196 or 84.46 percent were for foreign nationals employed in Pogos.
Chinese nationals accounted for the majority (89.03 or 55,371) of the total foreign nationals working in POGOs.
Other nationals in the POGO industry include Vietnamese (1,986), Indonesians (1,130) and Malaysians (1,096).
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