POGOs should be confined to their own hubs

"This will make it easier for PAGCOR to identify who the illegal operators are."


The plan to confine Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations within economic hubs is practical and doable.

It’s the best way to prevent unruly Chinese workers from getting into trouble with Filipinos. This will also make it easier for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. to identify who the illegal operators are.

We, Filipinos, if we go to China, will also have our rights curtailed. For example, I cannot join the protests in Hong Kong. Nor can any Filipino.

The Chinese Embassy is claiming that confining POGO workers within economic hubs would curtail their rights. But the Chinese ambassador forgets that aliens really do not enjoy the same rights as they do in their home countries.

POGOS have been giving the government much-needed revenue in terms of taxes, sure. But it’s time we put in place measures to ensure that only the legal ones operate.

* * *

If we say it is all right for public officials to accept “small and insignificant” gifts if the people appreciate the work they do, the next logical question is this: How do we define “small and insignificant”?

Will a simple shirt or lechon count as small and insignificant?

If you are affluent, you can show your appreciation to cops by giving them gifts. What if you are poor or jobless? This is where the problem lies.

Soon, every public official will be expecting and demanding gifts just for doing what should be done. What the President suggested destroys our concept of government as a form of public service. No wonder the Civil Service Commission did not agree with the President. With Mr. Duterte’s suggestion, government corruption will not only continue but worsen.

Remember, if there is discretion, graft and corruption are sure to follow.

* * *

Santa Banana, what will they think of next?

I refer to the move of banks to increase ATM charges to P10-P15 per inter-bank withdrawal. Obviously, banks have been making oodles of money. Just read the business section of newspapers. There must be a law to stop banks from taking advantage of the public through these ATM charges!

I support the move of Congress to investigate this. In fact, I would go further and say that the probe should also look into the usurious 3.60 percent monthly charge for the use of credit cards. This is extortion in any language! If you had to pay 3.60 percent monthly for the use of credit cards, you can easily go bankrupt.

* * *

The continued protests in Hong Kong is something for us Filipinos to look at and learn from. There are 110,000 overseas Filipinos there. Many others are expatriates and residents.

There are now fears that if the protesters continue what they are doing, Beijing may be forced to what is necessary to stop them.

And if China quelled the Hong Kong protests, this can only have bad consequences for the former Crown colony. First to go will be tourism. And then the rich will take advantage of the dual citizenship they got in 1997. I am told there is now an exodus of Hong Kong residents to England. They are definitely taking advantage of their British passports. Those billionaires are definitely not staying.

* * *

My former student, Bobby Ongpin, does not seem to know when to stop. He is continually improving the facilities of his island paradise, Balesin.

Bobby has just put up a new events facility which has a capacity of 1,000. Called the Balesin Marquee, it is certainly impressive.

The Chinese restaurant should be ready for business by October. A Cantonese chef will be flown in from Hong Kong. This restaurant has a seating capacity of 150.

Not content with all these, Ongpin has also decided to have a Vietnamese restaurant.

Bobby is truly outdoing himself.

* * *

What is China’s true intention on the Philippines? Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know is that the presence of so many Chinese in the country is disturbing.

Since we cannot go to war with China, all we can do is have a policy of appeasement, accommodation and acquiescence. I am truly about the future—not mine, but that of my children and grandchildren.

Topics: Emil Jurado , Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations , POGOs , Chinese workers , China , Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
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