Philippine senators urged to formalise position on POGOs
Senator Grace Poe told legislators about another alleged case of attempted abduction.
The Philippines.- Senator Grace Poe has asked the Senate to take a formal position on Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) after another kidnapping case in the industry. According to Manila Bulletin, Poe told a debate among legislators that a friend told her his sister-in-law had been kidnapped in a busy area of Pasay and taken to a POGO dormitory in Cavite, where she was sold to a buyer.
The senator said the victim was initially offered a job as a personal assistant with a monthly salary of PHP100,000. However, when she left her apartment to meet who she thought was the employer, she was forced into a car.
Poe said the woman was lucky that a friend witnessed the event. She said the victim had been harassed and physically harmed and showed photographic evidence.
Joel Villanueva, the Senate majority leader, called on all law enforcement agencies and the Senate to act swiftly to stop POGO-related crimes. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III urged the Senate to take a position on the matter.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has previously suggested that the Philippines could mitigate the impact of a ban on online gaming by growing the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. Gatchalian noted that POGOs contribute PHP34.68bn a year to the country or 1 per cent of GDP.
He said that while this contribution could be considered significant, the impact of a ban could be mitigated by attracting BPO companies, which could take up office space left by gaming operators.