Bato dela Rosa: Admin believes POGO is essential business
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Saturday expressed his support for the government’s decision to allow the resumption of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators amid the enhanced community quarantine.
In a radio interview with DWIZ, dela Rosa said that the government sees POGOs as essential businesses that should be given the approval to operate during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The former police chief, who is a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, said allowing POGOs to resume their operations would bring financial contributions to the government’s fight against the coronavirus.
“Kuwan yan, give or take. Sabihin mo di essential, totoo nga di essential, pero on the part of the admin naman very essential yan dahil kailangan ng pera panggastos dito sa COVID,” said dela Rosa.
(This is a give or take situation, you can say that this isn’t an essential business but on the part of the administration, they see it as very essential. They need this to get some funds against COVID-19.)
“Sinasabi naman nila na malaking madadagdag sa war chest ng ating gobyerno sa laban against COVID kung makapag operate yan dagdag sa gobyerno,” he added.
(They’re also saying that this will increase greatly the government’s war chest in the fight against COVID if they’re allowed to operate.)
The government’s decision to allow POGOs to resume earned criticisms especially since said business entities, which are mainly operated by Chinese internationals, have around P50 billion in unpaid taxes in 2019.
Malacañang argued that POGOs fall under Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), but the said industry denied that the gambling entities are part of its model.
Senators Francis Pangilinan and Joel Villanueva also slammed the government’s decision to allow the resumption of POGOs instead of focusing on the local populace who has been badly hit in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dela Rosa added that if POGO employees, majority of whom are from Mainland China, contract the coronavirus then they should just quarantine themselves
‘Siguro tignan na lang nila na di yan nakadagdag sa virus dito sa ating komunidad. Dapat tutukan, di yan pwedeng pabayaan. In a way, kung magkahawaan sila, sila sila na lang sa loob wag na lumabas, naka quarantine din sila wag na sila lumabas,” dela Rosa said..
(Officials should closely monitor these businesses and in a way, if they contract the virus and infect each other, then they should just stay put and go into quarantine. They shouldn’t go out.)
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