POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) have been in the news for several reasons lately. The reason is not farfetched as the People’s Republic of China and some groups in Philippine want to restrict them or better still, shut them down completely.
Several people feel differently about these POGOS, but there are some who are vehemently defending the industry. Rodrigo Duterte President of Philippine went to China recently on an official trip and has had time to reflect on everything. Upon his arrival in the country, he concluded that the sector needs as much protection as they can get.
As reported by the Philippine Star, President Duterte has come to a conclusion that he will not stop POGOs from operating in the country. The reason is because the President rates the industry highly and as he said in his words the industry “is good for the country.”
When he was quizzed further about his decision, the fearless President asserted that it’s unarguable that the growth and presence of POGOs has got many people worried. So far, they have created a chain of positive growth for the citizens because of the jobs caused by the growth of the industry.
“I decide we need it,” the President said at a press briefing. “Many will lose livelihood. It’s government-controlled.”
The President’s decision came as a shock to many. President Duterte has always cozied up to China, and many believe he’s always keen not to offend the nation’s interests are surprised that he’s is directly opposing the economic titan’s wishes to close the industry.
This conclusion of his was not reached immediately, rather it came after he visited Beijing. When he was asked during his trip about the industry, he gave a curt reply that he would look take a holistic look at the industry.
This new development from Duterte means he’s now joined the list of Presidents who has unequivocally stated that China does not have the right to dictate the affairs of their country especially as regards domestic policies. The government official that voiced this concern is Philippine’s Ambassador to China Jose Santiago L. Sta. Romana.
Perhaps in a bid to get gain favor with either Duterte or China or probably to get ahead of the story, several people have speculated about the dangers POGOs portend. Delfin Lorenzana Defense Secretary made a suggestion that some operators of POGOs may be using their presence in the country to spy on sensitive government offices in Philippines.
In response to the claim, PAGCOR (the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation) immediately placed a suspension on all new POGO licenses. Joy Belmonte, Quezon City mayor also tried to ride the wave of public outcry on POGOs by raiding the ones in her city.
Duterte is not going to make it easy for all POGOs though. He stated that regulators in the country will be closing monitoring all their activities:
“To the concessionaire, if you commit a mistake, you will be shuttered. Then we will talk.”