Arsenio Balisacan has expressed his support for a ban on offshore gaming operators.
The Philippines.- Socio-economic planning secretary and director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Arsenio Balisacan has given his support to the proposal to ban Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). Balisacan said POGOs have adverse societal consequences, including criminal activities.
He emphasised the importance of attracting legitimate, quality investments that contribute positively to the nation’s economy and social development. Balisacan is optimistic that new investments can replace any potential revenue loss resulting from the end of POGO operations.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee has recommended permanently expelling POGOs, citing reasons related to public safety and economic stability. It urges the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to revoke working visas and implement deportation measures for foreign nationals involved in the POGO sector.
According to data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), POGO-related crimes affected 4,355 victims and involved 903 perpetrators from January 2017 to June 30, 2023. They included human trafficking, abduction, homicide, illegal detention, theft and robbery-extortion.