Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda on Friday said that banning Philippine offshore gaming operators or POGOs has to be done through legislation.
“It can only be done by law. Until then, it won’t happen,” Salceda, chair of the House committee on ways and means and the chamber’s resident economist, said.
Salceda issued the statement after ten of the 18 members of the Senate ways and means committee signed the panel’s report recommending the ban on POGOs.
Salceda said all issues raised about POGOs concern issues of law enforcement. Therefore, “the solution to law enforcement issues is frankly, to enforce the law.”
“Enough safeguards exist in our laws to punish supposed crimes committed against POGOs, and enough mechanisms to exist to shut down any erring business,” Salceda explained.
“Banning an entire business on the basis of issues that the law enforcement alone can address is like burning the whole house down to snuff out the rats,” he added.
“And let’s be clear. In other countries where offshore gaming isn’t a Chinese-dominated sector, the industry is a leading employer and source of value added. That’s the case in Gibraltar and Cyprus.
Nothing in our law says the industry has to be Chinese.”
“In times like these where finding sources of growth is a challenge, we should be more imaginative,” Salceda stated.