Tell it to SunStar: Pogos must be banned

Tell it to SunStar: Blinded by Pogo, money and China
SunStar Tell it

By Rep. France Castro

ACT Teachers Party-List

We have filed a bill seeking to prohibit and criminalize the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) in the country.

The proposed “Anti-Pogo Act” declares it the policy of the State to ban Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) which have increasingly become a social menace and a source of unimaginable corruption by mocking Philippine laws against money laundering, immigration violations, tax evasion, and other criminal offenses.

Pogos have brought with them a swarm of crimes as testified by countless police raids—rape, murder, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, prostitution, illegal detention, inhumane labor practices, money laundering, and immigration bribery, among many others.

Their supposed economic benefits have also been negligible compared to the social costs they have inflicted on our people and communities. It is high time we put a stop to this social menace.

The bill revokes all licenses granted to Pogos, makes Pogo operations a predicate crime to money laundering and human trafficking offenses, and imposes penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and P10 million in fines.

It also prohibits agencies from issuing work permits and visas for purposes of offshore gaming, and requires an annual compliance report from responsible agencies.

We call on our colleagues in Congress to swiftly approve this bill that will protect Filipino families and communities from the proliferation of crimes and social ills brought about by Pogos.

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