POGO hubs should prioritize employing Filipino workers, says ACT-CIS solon
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Party-list Rep. Jocelyn Tulfo (ACT-CIS) said offshore gaming hubs operating under the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) should prioritize giving jobs to Filipinos rather relying to foreign employment.
Tulfo said while other congressmen are busy focusing on imposing additional taxes to POGO operators, she is more concern about the tens of thousands of jobs Filipinos lost because the gaming hub owners “gave those jobs away to foreign nationals.”
“How can Filipinos be happy about the offshore and local gaming operators when at least 130,000 jobs went to foreigners instead of Pinoys?” said Tulfo.
According to Tulfo, the said data are “just for the companies with PAGCOR POGO licenses” and not yet included in the count are other gaming firms operating in the economic zones, freeports, and special economic zones.
Tulfo said giving jobs to local laborers in the POGO industry would somehow help to lessen the current 2.43 million unemployed Filipinos, based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairperson and CEO Andrea Domingo said 130,000 people were employed by their licensed 58 POGO operators.
She also said that before she assumed office in July 2016, there were many offshore gaming firms operating illegally with 80,000 people in their employ.
Tulfo also stressed that “there seems to be a need for tighter regulation and a tougher policy” against the illegal recruitment of foreign nationals and he current measures for working visas and Alien Employment Permits “are apparently not enough.”
She added that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) needs more ethical labor inspectors to check whether POGO personnel have valid work permits and other documents.