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POGO industry claims 23,000 jobs at stake if offshore gaming banned


THE closure of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) will lead to the loss of over 23,000 jobs held by Filipinos, the POGO association said.

The Association of Service Providers and POGOs (ASPAP) and their workers appealed to the government yesterday to weigh the economic contributions of the online gambling industry.

“We thus appeal to our government — President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and our senators in particular — not to look at the POGO sector as the enemy but rather an ally in nation building,” ASPAP spokesperson Paul J. Bongco said in a briefing.

ASPAP representative Michael I. Danganan  said POGOs actually employ more Filipinos than foreigners.

ASPAP, whose members account for less than half of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (PAGCOR) 35 registered licensees, counts among its workforce 11,776 Filipinos directly hired and 11,342 working indirectly. Its tally for foreign nationals is 17,130.

ASPAP’s membership includes 16 PAGCOR-licensed POGOs and 68 service providers.

ASPAP members also operate 129 offices for customer relations services, IT support, live studio streaming, and other functions located in Parañaque, Makati, Cavite, Pasay, Pampanga, Manila and Mandaluyong. Members occupy an estimated 407,841 square meters of floor space.

Mr. Bongco said it is unfair to blame the crime associated with POGOs on the ASPAP membership.

He added that POGOs have generated more than P61 billion worth of taxes and fees in the past six years for PAGCOR, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Department of Labor and Employment, and Bureau of Immigration. — Ana Olivia A. Tirona

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