Poe wants Senate to examine how Pogos impact PH society
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Grace Poe wants the Senate to examine how the Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) affect society.
Poe filed Senate Resolution No. 229 and expressed her dismay that Pogos were involved in more than half of the kidnapping instances reported this year, a concern that’s being proven right as negative stories about offshore gaming make headlines and their effects on society become clear.
Aside from kidnappings, Pogos are also being blamed for the rise of the gangster-run neighborhood in the country. Unrestrained gambling caused by Pogos also promotes drug, human, and weapons trafficking.
“[Seventeen] out of the 31 reported kidnapping incidents from January to September 2022 by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group were Pogo-related,” Poe’s resolution read.
“[T]he PNP cited that the increase in kidnapping incidents in 2022, particularly those Pogo-related, is due to the high demand of companies for Mandarin speaking workers, high referral fees, and vulnerability of victims,” the resolution further stated, noting that gambling is illegal in China.
Poe pointed out that with the surge of abduction cases and other violent activities, Pogos in the country have become a “threat to peace and order.”
On top of these unlawful acts, the economic gains from Pogos have dropped, and the provision of jobs to Filipinos was minimal, Poe stressed.
“[M]oreover, the Pagcor reports that income generated from Pogos has decreased steadily due to the pandemic from P6 billion in 2018, P5 billion in 2019, P2 billion in 2021, and P1 billion in the 1st half of 2022,” the measure said.
“In 2020, out of 120,976 workers, only 30,521 are Filipinos or only one out four licensed Pogo employees are Filipinos,” it added.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs has started a probe into the spate of kidnapping incidents.
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