The Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs does not recommend a total ban on the operations of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the country.
In his report, committee chairman Senator Ronald Dela Rosa noted that the POGOs can continue operating in the country under stricter regulations.
Dela Rosa also said the operations can only be conducted in recommended areas such as the economic zones.
In an interview, Dela Rosa cited the necessity of proper monitoring of the POGOs operations in the exclusive zones.
He said the movements of those involved in POGOs can be closely monitored to deter the proliferation of POGO-related crimes.
Dela Rosa’s committee conducted an inquiry on POGO-related crimes like killings, kidnappings, abductions and illegal detentions and illegal possession of firearms, among others.
The recommendations of Dela Rosa, a former police chief, were contained in a draft report which was contrary to the draft report of
Senate Committee on Ways and Means chairman Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian who looked into the social costs of POGO operations and its ill effects on the lives of Filipinos.
Gatchalian’s committee report proposed a total ban on POGO operations.
He pointed out that based on data and studies they obtained, POGO operations have not provided enough employment and income to Filipino workers.
Gatchalian’s draft report was still being routed for his colleagues’ signatures.
Dela Rosa disclosed that he also signed Gatchalian’s report since he still has reservations on allowing the POGOs’ operations.
He raised the possibility to stop POGO operations, but this should be done gradually.
He said this was in consideration of those who invested in POGOs in the country and those working for them.