PAGCOR to carry out random checks on POGOs

The Philippine market regulator plans to carry out random inspections of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators amidst concern they are employing illegal foreign workers, according to media reports.

“We are looking into having random checks among all of the POGOs,” Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp chairperson Andrea Domingo was cited as saying at a news forum on Wednesday.

She said any POGO caught hiring illegal workers would face a stiff fine and anyone violating the law a second time would have their license revoked. There are 56 licensed POGOs and 200 service providers supporting their operations in the country, local media cited Domingo as saying.

Among those, there is only one Filipino employed for every four foreigners. A majority of foreign workers in POGOs are call center agents who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Filipinos largely make up the workforce in IT support system, live studios, and platform providers.

Almost half, or 51,980 of 115,652, of the alien employment permits issued by the Labor department went to Chinese nationals, according to official figures shown at a Senate hearing on Monday.