PAGCOR's roadmap for POGOs questioned by Senate

PAGCOR's roadmap for POGOs questioned by Senate

Nov 24, 2022, 8:38 AM
Nicole Pulido

Nicole Pulido


The four-page roadmap presented by gaming regulator, PAGCOR, irritated senators, who are not convinced about allowing the POGOs' return in the country.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) presented a copy of its roadmap to the Senate, which committee members heavily criticized, that included a plan to grow the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) industry.

On November 23, PAGCOR presented a four page roadmap to two Senate committees to help eliminate the so-called “social ills” associated with POGOs that aim to help the government earn billions in revenues, the Manila Bulletin reported.

PAGCOR said the roadmap aims to earn sufficient amount from the legit operations and increase the total of POGO income steadily in the next five years while creating a stricter regulatory board to get rid of illegal online gambling operations.

But the Manila Standard said PAGCOR expects total income from the POGO industry to hit P3.4 billion by 2023; P4.8 billion by 2024; P6.2 billion by 2025; P7.7 billion by 2026; and P10.2 billion by 2027 by adopting this roadmap.

However, policymakers are greatly under pressure to prevent such activities from resuming because of concerns over their social costs outweighing the economic benefits.

Senate Ways and Means co-chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian was greatly disappointed with PAGCOR’s plan as he sought more details particularly on the profile of the countries of origin of POGO customers, Business Mirror said.

“Well, para sa akin, toilet paper yun. Four pages lang? Marami na akong nakitang roadmap and typically yan makapal, punong-puno ng detalye,” Gatchalian told reporters in an interview after the third hearing.
“Importante yung assumptions. Pero nakita natin kanina, di nila alam kung ilan ang POGO operations globally. So walang mga assumptions,” he said.

Gatchalian also pointed out the danger of losing foreign direct investments (FDI) as a result of “reputational risk” to the Philippines of the associated uncontrolled crimes involving POGO.

“In my entire life, this is the shortest roadmap na nakita ko. In fact, hindi siya road eh, parang eskinita lang siya,” he blasted at PAGCOR officials present at the hearing.

Tags: #POGO, #PAGCOR, #senate

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