PAMPANGA

Pangan: Featuring Pogo and Togo

At Close Range

THIS piece took after the comedy duo of Pugo and Tugo in the 50s and 60s. It tends to bring to light the recent controversies involving Pogo, or the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, and Togo, or the other gaming operators including STL, sakla and, of course, jueteng.

Admittedly, Pogos give our national coffers huge amounts by way of taxes; the other, Togos, do not religiously pay taxes and opt to remain nondescript and operate underground.

It is well-known that the operators of Pogos are Chinese and they have their way through immigration personnel by bribing them in exchange for their free passes into the country. In fact, some five NAIA immigration officials were sacked over the "pastillas" scheme devised by these unscrupulous individuals to fleece money from arriving Chinese. But some observers believe the scheme goes up to higher positions and so they must also be investigated to get the "bigger picture." Happy days for the corrupt are back at the immigration offices!

There are other problems involving Pogo workers and these include non-payment of rentals and widespread prostitution where Chinese women are patronized by Chinese men only.

While we try hard to invite foreign tourists, particularly the Chinese, we maybe piqued by their overbearing presence.

Worse, we have allowed them to take away some parts of our territory, short of surrendering our sovereignty.

The Chinese mainly are ever present in the country, as if our existence solely depends on them!

***

Noel Tulabut, head of the Communications Division of the Clark Development Corporation, disclosed that strict traffic rules are being implemented inside the Clark Freeport Zone, considering the upgrades and improvements of the firm's road network: widened, well-paved and well-illuminated, especially at night.

About 50 trained traffic enforcers have been hired to manage traffic flow and movement inside CDC and the Zone. The speed limit of 60 kph is now enforced with those overspeeding apprehended with the help of speed guns and thereafter penalized without fail regardless of the personality of violators.

Most often, Noel confided, foreigners tend to abuse traffic rules and overstep the speed limits, sometimes engaging in racing among themselves. Ah, the benefits of smooth road network!


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