Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chair Andrea Domingo believes Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs) should be treated just like any other business process outsourcing (BPO) provider in the country.
“If BPOs are allowed to open during a lockdown, why can’t POGOs?” asked Domingo in an interview with DZBB.
Just like BPOs, Domingo said POGOs were willing to operate at 30 percent capacity; adopt social distancing and disinfection in their offices; and house their staff in nearby hotels or provide shuttles to ferry them from their homes and offices.
Domingo said the Inter-Agency Task Force has allowed POGOs to operate as long as they pay P350 million in monthly guaranteed fees despite not operating in April; guarantee full salary of its Filipino employees whether they work or not during the lockdown; pay all taxes due to the Bureau o Internal Revenue; and make sure that all employees have working visas. She said POGOs would start operation in week or two.
Domingo expected POGO operators to contribute as much P650 million a month that could contribute to the government’s warchest against COVID-19.
She said Pagcor has contributed P26.5 billion to the COVID but this was not enough to finance the P5,000 to P8,000 social amelioration program funds to 18 million Filipinos every month during the two-month lockdown.
“Yun ang main concern ko, we have 18 million families to feed and thousands of people to test and cure tapos. Hindi naman ako pwede maupo na walang gagawin,” said Domingo i explaining why she continued to push for POGOs reopening despite widespread opposition.
“Pera lang talaga ang makakalutas ngayon…maingat na maingat naman kami. ‘Di naman natin pwede pambli ang words or prayers lang, kailangan talaga natin pera,” she added.