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The Inter Agency Task Force, government’s COVID task force, allowed partial operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO), given certain conditions.
According to Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman Andrea Domingo, 30-percent of the total workforce will be allowed to work despite the existing enhanced community quarantine in the country to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Domingo said the IAFT approved her recommendation in a virtual meeting on Thursday— insisting that they are not part of the gaming sector, but rather the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
President Rodrigo Duterte orders BPO operations to resume on May 1. However, POGO is set to resume operations on May 15, given they comply with requirements set by the government.
Conditions for resumption
Domingo said the partial continuation of POGO comes with certain conditions, including documents and disinfection of offices.
“It may take another week before POGOs will finally open as soon as they comply with certain requirements,” Domingo said.
Domingo added the workers will have to be tested first before they could return to work.
Also part of the government requirement is putting up a 350 million pesos bond as well as payment of taxes.
“One of the conditions na magreresume sila ng partial, ay babayaran nila in full ang sweldo nitong 31,500 Filipinos kahit na hindi sila papasok,” Domingo said in an interview.
There are 60 POGO companies in the country registered with PAGCOR and employing 90,000 Chinese nationals, 8,000 other foreign nationalities, and about 30,000 Filipinos.