Home NATIONWIDE POGO ban ipinanukala sa Kamara

POGO ban ipinanukala sa Kamara

MANILA, Philippines – Naghain ng panukala ang opposition lawmakers sa Kamara para ipagbawal ang Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) sa bansa sa pagsasabing ito ay nagdala lamang ng kabi-kabilang mga sindikato sa bansa.

Inihain nina House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro, House Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas, at Kabataan party-list Representative Raoul Manuel ang panukala sa ilalim ng kanilang House Bill 10525.

Sinabi nila na ang Republic Act 11590, isinabatas noong Setyembre 2021, ay basta-basta na lamang pumayag sa mga POGO nang hindi ikinokonsidera ang mga masasamang epekto nito, lalo na’t illegal din sa China ang gambling.

Sa ambush interview sa paghahain ng panukala, sinabi ni Castro na dapat ay maging malinaw si Pangulong Ferdinand Marcos Jr. kung ipagbabawal niya na ang POGO.

“Dapat ay magsalita na rin si Pres. Marcos, Jr kasi siya lang naman ‘yung puwedeng magsabi. At kung sasabihin niya na iba-ban talaga ang mga POGO dito ay mainam ‘yon. Pero kung di siya nagsasabi, baka – ano ba, ano bang masasabi natin diyan – may pinoprotektahan ba? So ‘yun ‘yung tanong natin,” ani Castro.

Wala pang tugon ang Malakanyang kaugnay nito bagama’t kamakailan ay sinabi ni Marcos na hindi na mabuti ang nagiging epekto ng POGO kasabay ng kabi-kabilang krimen na konektado rito.

“PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) was proud of its numbers: POGOs contributed P657 million in just their first year, hitting P3.924 billion the next, and P7.365 billion in 2018. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, PAGCOR promised expected POGO revenues to reach P8 billion. All Duterte-era heads of agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bureau of Internal Revenue, also proclaimed hefty revenues in fees and taxes from POGOs. Never mind that what the Philippines essentially, did was to make legal here what is illegal somewhere else, namely, China,” saad sa panukala.

“Never mind that, with the intlux of POGOs, it brought with it a swarm of crimes as testified to by police raids, and by the PAGCOR itself, Anti-Money Laundering Council, and various other agencies-rape, murder, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, prostitution, illegal detention, inhumane labor terms and conditions, money laundering, immigration bribery schemes, to name just a few,” dagdag pa.

Binanggit din nina Castro ang pag-aaral ng Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center na nakitang karamihan sa mga POGO na nag-operate noong panahon ng pandemya ay mga “scam hubs” para sa pekeng online charity, fake shopping websites, fake online sellers, fake relative/friend dating at “romance scams,” fake foreign exchange investment, fake loans, at iba pa.

“With this long list of felonies and the long years that POGO were allowed to proliferate in the country, the 10-hectare POGO hub raided in Bamban, Tarlac under the probable auspices of suspended Mayor Alice Guo is merely the tip of the iceberg. Still, POGOs have operated and continue to operate now, even after his term to the detriment of their victims: not just the economy as a whole but, more importantly, the Filipinos caught in the POGO web of criminality,” sinasabi pa sa panukala.

Patungkol naman sa benepisyo ng POGO sa ekonomiya, sinabi ng mga mambabatas na bumababa rin ang economic contributions nito dahil ni hindi man lang lumampas sa 1% ng gross domestic product (GDP) ang kontribusyo nito sa kita ng pamahalaan kahit na umabot ito sa peak noong 2019.

“It is high time to ban POGOs and criminalize their operations. For these reasons, immediate approval of this bill is sought,” dagdag pa nila. RNT/JGC