Duterte said while POGOs have created jobs, they cannot be “in every town and city,” otherwise authorities would not be able to police them all. ?
AFP/Marcus Erricson, File photo
Duterte wants number of POGOs regulated
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 14, 2020 - 12:01am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte wants to limit the number of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) in the Philippines, saying the presence of too many gaming hubs has “side effects” and will pose difficulties for regulators. ?

Duterte said while POGOs have created jobs, they cannot be “in every town and city,” otherwise authorities would not be able to police them all. ?

“Many Filipinos have benefited from jobs but you have to temper it also with the corruption. There is always the law enforcement. I am not only zeroing in on police, but I am warning them, there are a lot of, how do you call it, side effects of too many (POGOs),” the President said in an interview aired over dzMM yesterday. ?

“If you add more to this number presently operating you will not be able to police them all. So you have to set a number for that, it cannot be in every town and city about so many POGO games going on,” he added. ?

About 130,000 Chinese nationals are working for POGOs.

Last year, China asked the Philippines to ban online gaming, saying it could lead to crimes like money laundering. Duterte denied the request, saying the ban would result in job losses.

The government has earned about P1.6 billion in withholding taxes from POGOs and service providers in the first eight months of 2019, way higher than the 579 million it collected in 2018. ?

Duterte said China, through its new ambassador Huang Xilian, has vowed not to interfere with the Philippines’ law enforcement efforts against Chinese nationals who violate the law.

He said the matter was discussed during a dinner with the envoy last Jan. 8. ?

“The former ambassador and the ambassador said that if you must do it because the law is the law, and that if there is a need to deport, arrest, then they’re keeping their hands away from all these things,” the President said. ?

“(The envoy said) you have prerogative to do what you want to enforce the law. In fairness to Chinese government, they understand,” he added. 

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