Remulla: Allow legit POGO to operate
The Justice chief said that the ban could affect heavily on the country’s economy.
Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Friday stressed that the Philippine government should allow legitimate Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators to continue their operations provided they would be put everything in order.
In a television interview, Remulla said that while he is not opposing the proposal to ban altogether the POGO in country, legitimate offshore gaming operations should be allowed to continue as the ban could affect heavily on the country’s economy.
“We have to phase them out in a way with the least damage to our economy,” Remulla said.
“If we can, let’s stop it. If not, then let’s organize the system so it won’t bother our citizens,” he added.
The Justice secretary also assured that efforts are being done so that the arrest of overstaying Chinese POGO workers for deportation will not turn into a “humanitarian crisis.”
Remulla said there are around 40,000 overstaying Chinese POGO workers in the country after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation canceled the permits to operate of 216 POGOs.
Meantime, the Police Regional Office 3 has started issuing national police clearance to workers of licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators in Central Luzon.
PRO3 regional director Police Brigadier General Cesar Pasiwen stressed that the PNP has been facilitating the issuance of police clearance since Thursday, adding that around 180 workers of the Tele Empire located at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone are already being processed for their clearance in Olongapo City.
Offshore gaming operations workers in the area are mostly Chinese, Malaysian and Indian nationals.
The PRO3 chief added that the first 30 workers were issued clearances without criminal records.
“This is part of the identification process of all foreign nationals and locals working in POGO to avoid similar cases of kidnapping and other forms of abuse, particularly among Chinese workers at the same time the police have a means to check who these foreign nationals are to ensure that those entering our country are not criminals,” Pasiwen said.
“We welcome the support of the operators of these legitimate POGOs who are coordinating with us and seeking assistance for the issuance of national police clearance of their workers which only proves that they abide by our existing laws,” he added.
With Jonas Reyes
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