Senate panel recommends Pogo ban
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on ways and means has recommended permanently banning Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) in the country.
Senator Win Gatchalian, chairman of the committee, said the recommendation was contained in Committee Report No. 136 filed at the Senate on Tuesday.
Ten more senators, including Gatchalian, signed the report. Below is the list of signatories:
- Senator Win Gatchalian
- Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa
- Senator JV Ejercito
- Senator Pia Cayetano
- Senator Grace Poe
- Senator Raffy Tulfo
- Senator Risa Hontiveros
- Senator Loren Legarda
- Senator Joel Villanueva
- Senator Koko Pimentel
“This is an important step to prevent the rampant crimes coming from several Pogo companies. We are hoping that we reach our goal of maintaining peace in the country, which will lead to the growth of our economy,” said Gatchalian in a statement on Wednesday.
Citing data from the Philippine National Police, Gatchalian said Pogos have victimized 4,355 Filipinos, involving 903 perpetrators from January 2017 to June 30, 2023.
“Malinaw sa datos na ating nakalap nitong mga nakaraang buwan na ginagamit ng mga kawatan ang POGO para makapagsagawa ng mga krimen na kinabibilangan ng human trafficking, at iba’t ibang investment tulad ng crypto-currency at love scam,” the senator added.
(Based on the data that we have gathered in the past few months, it is clear that thieves use Pogos to commit crimes that include human trafficking and various investments such as crypto-currency and love scams.)
Gatchalian said the committee report also recommends the following:
- The adoption of a resolution urging the executive department to cease the operations of Pogos
- Labor and Employment’s search for alternative employment placements for Filipino nationals employed by Pogos
- Bureau of Immigration’s cancellation and revocation of work visas issued to foreign nationals employed in the Pogo industry