Angara calls for more time for law-abiding Pogos before shutdown
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) that are abiding the law should be given more time to shut down their operations, Senator Juan Edgardo Angara said on Friday.
“The immediate closure of illegal Pogos is definitely called for, but for the legitimate operators who pay their taxes and employee benefits, and have made substantial investments, there should be a longer period to phase out,” Angara said in a statement.
The legislator argued that giving them more time to cease operations in the country is “reasonable or justified” since it was the Philippine government that first called them over to invest in the gaming sector.
“I don’t believe three months is adequate time and notice to wrap up operations, especially for those who have made substantial investments,” Angara added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who leads the ways and means panel in its inquiry into the socioeconomic impact of Pogos in the country, had earlier recommended a permanent ban on Pogos.
READ: ‘Game over’: Gatchalian wants permanent ban on POGOs
But Gatchalian admitted that the committee report is still lacking support as it had so far been signed by only seven of its 18 committee members.
According to Gatchalian, the common contention of the senators was the looming fate of some 20,000 Filipinos employed in the Pogo industry.
He then said this is why he had also sought the help of the Department of Labor and Employment in exploring alternative employment options for them.
READ: ‘Burning the house to kill the rat?’: Lawmakers weigh Pogo pros, cons
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