Survey shows 58% of Filipinos believe POGOs are harmful

The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from November 27 to December 1 last year.
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted from November 27 to December 1 last year.

Only 19 per cent of all respondents identified POGOs as being beneficial for the Philippines.

The Philippines.- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has shared the results of a survey by Pulse Asia that shows that 58 per cent of respondents think Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) are harmful. Only 19 per cent of respondents though POGOs were beneficial.

The poll was conducted by Pulse Asia Research Inc, a Philippine polling organisation, from November 27 to December 1 last year. Among those who said the POGO industry was harmful to the country, 67 per cent cited the proliferation of vices as the main reason.

Some 57 per cent mentioned an increase in POGO-related crimes involving Chinese nationals, 43 per cent cited an increasing number of Chinese nationals employed by POGOs, 33 per cent said the sector didn’t provide opportunities to Filipinos and 22 per cent mentioned the cost of rent for residential or commercial real estate rising due to POGOs.

During a committee hearing on Thursday (January 26), Gatchalian said: “The survey results are an important piece of data that we will take into consideration as the data represents the sentiments of our people and provides relevant insights on the issue at hand.”

The senator has said he was working on a detailed report on the outlook of online gaming in The Philippines and that a ban on POGOs won’t affect the economy. Gatchalian said that POGOs contribute PHP35bn annually in income taxes but that in the third quarter of 2022, the collection was only PHP7.2bn, projected to reach about PHP8.5bn in December.

The senator said there may be some job shifts and impacts on the real estate sector but that these would be resolved within a few years, especially with the expected boom in the business process outsourcing industry.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means is working on a committee report about the benefits and costs of POGOs in the country. Last October, Senator Risa Hontiveros told Abs-Cbn that half of the senate could vote in favour of a bill to ban businesses.

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