BI admits being clueless about locations of 40,000 Pogo workers | Inquirer News

BI admits being clueless about locations of 40,000 Pogo workers

/ 08:19 PM October 03, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) admitted that they do not know the whereabouts of the over 40,000 employees of Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) who are set to be deported by the government.

BI Deputy Commissioner Fortunato Manahan Jr. made the revelation at Monday’s hearing of the Senate committee on ways and means after the inquiry of Senator Grace Poe.

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“‘Yung sinasabi, ‘magde-deport kami ng 40,000 or more individuals,’ nasaan na ‘yung mga ‘yun? Hindi ko sinasabi i-deport niyo agad. Ang sinasabi ko lang, alam ba ninyo kung nasaan sila o puro lang ito salita?” Poe asked.

(They say, “We will deport 40,000 or more individuals.” Where are they? I’m not asking to deport them immediately. What I’m saying is, do you know where they are, or these are just promises?)

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Manahan answered that the 40,000 figure is just an estimate, assuming that there are 200 workers in each of the more than 200 Pogo firms with terminated licenses.

READ: DOJ aims to deport at least 2,000 Pogo workers by mid-October

Poe immediately questioned Manahan’s remark.

“I just want to make sure that I have this right. You’re just making a calculation but you don’t actually know where those individuals are at this point?” she quizzed, to which the commissioner responded, “Yes.”

Poe further pointed out: “So, maganda lang ‘yung statement na magde-deport tayo ng ganito karaming individuals but actually, hindi natin alam kung nasaan sila at masasabi ko rin na marami sa kanila, magtatago na.”

(So, the statement that we will deport only sounds good, but we do not know where they are and we can say that many of them will already hide.)

According to Poe, a Pogo worker told her that he/she planned on staying in the Philippines illegally due to the high pay from Pogo firms.

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The Department of Justice said they would deport 40,000 Chinese nationals who are overstaying in the Philippines after the licenses of the firms they are working at were terminated.

READ: POGO summary deportations to begin – DOJ chief

The Senate committee on ways and means commenced its hearing on Pogos on Monday as senators seek to weigh its benefits and social costs.

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Senate opens probe into Pogos

‘Is it worth it?’: Zubiri says social costs of Pogos, meager revenue must be weighed

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TAGS: BI, Immigration, pogo
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