Over 20,000 Filipinos could lose jobs if POGO operations shut down

Over 20,000 Filipinos could lose jobs if POGO operations shut down

SEVERAL proposed bills had been filed in Senate and House to outlaw and shut down POGO due to reported crimes like human trafficking, scamming, harassment, and kidnapping.

The Labor Department on the other hand is now preparing for the possible impact once the POGO Hubs will be shutdown, knowing that there are thousands of Filipino workers directly employed.

According to DOLE Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, around 20,000 regular Filipino POGO employees will lose their jobs, affecting indirect employees as well.

“We know that in a specific area, let’s say a hub, there’s a cafeteria, there are transport services; those will also be affected, they will lose their livelihoods, including our indirectly involved employees in POGO,” according to Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma, DOLE.

Laguesma hopes that the closure will not be abrupt so they can properly plan the needed interventions for Filipinos who will lose their jobs.

He said the agency is ready to assist and provide support or alternative employment to displaced workers, whether they come from legal or illegal POGO hubs in the country.

“Our approach there is we are already profiling those who might be affected. One thing we hope to see in the process is that it won’t be abrupt or sudden so we can have what we call a transition, where we can properly plan our interventions, not just by DOLE but by others who can help. This is to prepare our affected workers, especially those from establishments that have been closed, particularly those legally operating establishments that have complied with all the requirements to engage in internet gaming,” said Laguesma.

Based from the data of DOLE, Majority of the employees in POGOs are Filipinos. Others are Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, Burmese, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Thai, South Korean, and Laotian nationals.

Laguesma stated they will now strengthen their coordination with the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission to gather information related to illegal POGOs.

Meanwhile, regarding the country’s earnings, PAGCOR previously mentioned that the Philippines could lose around PHP 20 billion annually if POGO operations are shut down.

It is said also that there’s no guarantee that illegal POGOs will disappear if operations cease in the country, and monitoring them would become more challenging for the government.

“If this happens, it would become harder for us to monitor them, and the number of illegal operators would grow and pose a bigger headache to our law enforcement authorities,” stated Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO, PAGCOR Alejandro.

 

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