PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said on Tuesday, August 20, said security protocols should be drawn up to address concerns over the presence of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (Pogo) establishments near military bases.
"If there are facilities near these areas, there are security protocols that should be made like target-hardening measures," Albayalde said.
"We need to guard, we need to secure. Kung talagang sobra-sobra naman yan, that could be also detrimental to our national security, that’s possible," he added.
He said the possibility of the Chinese using these Pogo establishments for espionage could not be discounted.
On the other hand, he surmised that operators of these Pogo establishments may have also considered the security of their businesses when they chose to located near the military camps.
Albayalde said security is one of the factors considered not only by the Chinese but also by other businessmen in deciding on project sites.
"Foreigners would want that their business are located near police stations for instance for security reasons," he said.
"That is one consideration for them. If you are investor, you would want as many security forces in areas where they would construct their facilities," he added.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed concern over the presence of Pogo establishments near military camps.
There is a Pogo facility near a Philippine Navy facility in Cavite, one near the Philippine Army headquaters in Taguig City, another near the camps of the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Quezon City, and one in Subic in Zambales.
As of June 2019, there were 56 licensed Pogo establishments in the country that employ between 100,000 and 250,000 Chinese nationals while there were at least 30 others that are operating illegally in the country. (SunStar Philippines)