Palace: Pres. Duterte has no plan to shutdown POGOs

Despite several controversies surrounding the online gaming industry, President Rodrigo Duterte has no plan of ordering the shutdown of all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the country, the Palace said on Sunday.

In a radio interview, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President backed the continued operation of POGOs because of the economic benefits from the offshore gaming firms' transactions as reported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

This statement came after some senators, including Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, pushed to declare POGOs “illegal” amid money laundering, crimes, and other suspicious activities related to POGOs.

The government was able to collect around 7 billion pesos from fees and licenses from POGOs, according to Pagcor.

Panelo said the funds could be used to address the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in the country and raise the monthly salary of nurses and teachers.