The call comes after the latest raids against human trafficking.
The Philippines.- Senate majority leader Joel Villanueva has urged president Marcos Jr to immediately prohibit Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). It comes after police raided an unlicensed gaming establishment in Pasay City which has been linked to allegations of sex trafficking.
Senators Villanueva and Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, have previously stated the presence of illegal POGO operations necessitates a more assertive stance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
They argued that the social costs associated with such activities far outweigh any economic benefits, underscoring the urgency for stricter regulation and potential bans.
PAGCOR invalidated all POGO licences earlier this year and reissued them in an attempt to improve regulation. The effectiveness of these measures is now being questioned, as some operations continue to operate under different names. The committee report drafted by Gatchalian’s panel is currently awaiting further signatures from committee members before it can be addressed in the Senate.