Philippine Senate committee to study potential impact of banning POGOs

The property sector fears it will lose out if POGOs are banned.
The property sector fears it will lose out if POGOs are banned.

The committee will analyse how much a ban on POGOs could cost the Philippine economy.

The Philippines.- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has announced that the Senate committee on ways and means, which he heads, will hold a hearing to explore what economic impact a ban on POGOs could have for the Philippines.

proposal to ban POGOs was made after reports of kidnappings. The PAGCOR carried out a raid with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to rescue 40 foreign nationals who were working at an illegal offshore gaming company.

However, David Leechiu, CEO of Leechiu Property Consultants, warned of a possible loss of PHP5.8bn in government taxes. Leechiu said the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) would lose PHP5.25bn in revenue and 347,000 workers would lose their jobs.

According to The Star, senator Juan Edgardo Angara said: “the Senate should listen to all stakeholders on any issue. In the case of POGOs, there is a benefit to the real estate sector that must be considered in any decision. But as always, these economic benefits must be weighed against the security and peace and order considerations which are primordial.”

PAGCOR says it has revoked the licences of 175 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) as of September 14. Together they employed around 40,000 Chinese nationals.

A week ago, Justice secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that starting from October 1, the government would deport 281 Chinese citizens who were illegally employed by online gambling operators. The Philippines now expects 3,000 to 4,000 more to be repatriated by mid-October.

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