The gambling industry in the Philippines is shrinking! In fact, POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators show a dramatic decline according to Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay.
It is said that fewer than one hundred remain. Chalk it up to strict lockdowns and employment requirements for immigrants. Meanwhile, the Chinese are causing anxiety.
Reportedly, prior to COVID-19, more than 200 Pogos were operating nationwide. Now they face the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),
The dramatic shrinkage of the industry is reputed to result from the vast economic downturn during the pandemic and the new stringent work requirements. Every worker must have a valid Alien Employment Permit.
Employment for the service providers is down given restrictions on travel to the Philippines. It doesn’t help that Chines POGO workers are making headlines. For example, Weng Zhiting and Cheng Guo were both arrested by the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping group. A syndicate targeting the Chinese may be expanding in the country.
There is an online scheme offering great exchange rates to unsuspecting Chinese nationals online. Upon arrival at a stated location, they are abducted. No wonder there is discriminating against the Chinese on the part of locals.
A warning has been issued by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It cautions immigrants to behave properly.
“The Filipinos have been very tolerant and very hospitable to us.
These [mainlanders] people don’t really know the Filipino culture.”
Social activist Teresita Ang-See decries all types of bad behavior, anything from spitting in public to kidnappings. It is likely to cause backlash against the homegrown community.
“The Tsinoy [Chinese-Filipinos] community is becoming a collateral damage. That’s why extra caution has to be taken. Unless we’re watchful, there might be a backlash.”