Recto: There are 3 times more Pogo workers than reported by Pagcor | Inquirer News

Recto: There are 3 times more Pogo workers than reported by Pagcor

/ 08:00 PM March 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The actual number of workforce for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) could be three times higher than what was reported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Thursday.

According to Recto, there could be more than 470,000 Pogo workers in the country, a figure significantly higher than the 118,000 workers reported by Pagcor.

“I just wanted to add, based on the document I am looking at, there are three times more Pogo workers than reported,” Recto said during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on various bills on Pogo taxes.


“Based on the real estate that they occupy, based on the study conducted, there are roughly 470,000 [workers], and that you can crosscheck when the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) and DOF (Department of Finance) take a look at the contribution to the economy. You can cross check it. In fact, it is a new middle class. In 2019, it is a new middle class in Metro Manila,” he added.


Dominique Tutay, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said more than 200,000 Pogo workers have been issued alien working permits in the last two years. She said the number includes 123,649 foreign nationals in 2019 and 79,017 in 2020.

Recto noted that even the data of DOLE is higher than that of Pagcor.

“So there is data to show that it is three times more,” he said. “What I am saying is for every one [Pogo worker], there are three without permits. Remember, 118,000 [is the figure reported by Pacgor]. Here, the estimate is 470,000 workers in the Pogo industry, three times more than what is reported.”

According to Tutay, the DOLE has also caught some Pogo workers who failed to present necessary permits to work in the Philippines during inspection.

Pagcor has issued authority to resume operations to 160 Pogos in 2020, according to Tutay.

“Ibig sabihin ito ‘yung allowed to operate even during the quarantine period and the authority was issued by Pagcor, and based on the report submitted to us, mayroong (there are) 42,417 workers in pogo-related establishments,” she said.


The BIR in May last year issued rules mandating Pogos and service providers to pay their taxes first before resuming operations amid community quarantine that was imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.


Crackdown on illegal Pogo operators looms

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6,678 foreigners hired illegally in Pogos unaccounted for

TAGS: Ralph Recto

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