Neda backs Senate proposal to ban Pogos, says social cost is high
MANILA, Philippines — National Economic Development Authority (Neda) Chief Arsenio Balisacan on Thursday said that the agency supports the Senate panel recommendation of banning Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) in the country.
The Senate Committee on Ways and Means had previously recommended a total ban on Pogos, citing the crimes affiliated with the operations.
“Yeah, we have been moving around in many countries, cities attracting investments to the country, marketing our country as a good place to do business. We are not going around to attract business of this kind. We have investment inflows that will promote not only the economic but also the social aspects of our development,” said Balisacan when asked in a Palace briefing if Neda supported the Senate panel’s recommendation.
Balisacan reiterated that Pogos have a high social cost, explaining that the revenues do not outweigh its negative impacts.
“We don’t think that the benefits in terms of the revenues generated and the additional, and the impact and the economy are worth the cost. So, I think that what we want to encourage are very… legitimate investments, good investments, quality investments, and those investments that will produce goods and services and not ones that promote negative externalities to society such as those alleged crimes or and related issues,” said Balisacan.
The Neda chief expressed optimism that the country would be able to make up for the lost revenue, saying that countries like Thailand and Indonesia do not need businesses like Pogos.