Senator Joel Villanueva stressed Monday that “no amount of revenues can reverse the effect of rising criminality brought about by the POGO sector.“
Because of this, he commended the decision of the Makati local government to indefinitely stop the issuance of business permits to POGO service providers, citing how the social costs of its operations affect the city.
He said revenues earned from this sector only ended up funding crime-prevention efforts of police, who run after prostitution and human trafficking dens, among others, instead of channeling these scarce resources to social welfare programs and services, such as improving the quality of education, greater subsidy for health needs, and training for skilled workers.
“We hope that other POGO hot spots in Metro Manila and other areas take heed of this significant step of Makati City,” said Villanueva.
He also expressed hope that they implement a similar ban until we clearly see the benefits of this growing sector.
Last Congress, Villanueva said they raised concerns on the ill effects brought about by the influx of illegal foreign workers, especially in POGOs.
At the start of the 18th Congress, they filed a resolution calling on various committees in the Senate to investigate, in aid of legislation, whether the benefits brought about by POGOs outweigh its direct and indirect negative effects.
The effects include the influx of illegal foreign workers, tax evasion, rising criminality, including money laundering, rising property prices, among others.
“We expect to commence hearing on this matter in January of next year,” he added.