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New bill seeks further control over POGOs

Investigations have linked POGOs to human trafficking.
Investigations have linked POGOs to human trafficking.

The bill aims to subject digital platforms that exploit women and children to human trafficking rules.

The Philippines.- A new bill has been introduced in the Senate aiming to require the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to keep tighter control over Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) activity to prevent human trafficking.

A series of Senate committee investigations has revealed that Chinese women were being trafficked into the Philippines to work for Chinese POGOs.

In response, senator Risa Hontiveros has filed Senate Bill No. 1929, which would demand PAGCOR scrutinise POGO activities under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003. 

According to The Inquirer, Hontiveros said: “The rise of POGOs has been found to increase the vulnerability to trafficking and prostitution of our own women, our own girls.”

The measure would expand the definition of trafficking in persons to include exploitation by online operators.

If approved, the bill would impose penalties on private firms such as internet service providers, financial intermediaries and transport services, when they knowingly allow the use of their facilities and services for the purposes of human trafficking.

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legislation philippines POGOs