MANILA — A ranking officer of the umbrella organization of business process outsourcing (BPO) firms in the country on Saturday clarified that Philippine offshore gaming organizations (POGOs) are companies operating under a different mode of business operation outside of their industry.
Hence, they cannot be aligned nor considered as BPOs contrary to an earlier statement Malacanang made said Rey Untal, president of the IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (IT-BPAP).
“As far as the IT-BPAP industry is concerned…, POGOs, as they are commonly called, cannot be considered as business process outsourcing,” Untal said.
The head of the BPO organization of the Philippines made the statement a day after the Palace announced POGOs will be allowed to re-operate under lockdown starting Friday (01 May 2020).
The decision was immediately met with staunch criticism on the social media as well as from legislators who saw POGOs as “areas where illegal Chinese workers have proliferated, and tax evasion is rampant.”
Another reason, Untal said that “unlike BPOs, which directly employed 1.3 million full-time Filipino workers last year, “majority” of POGOs’ “staffing comes from foreign labor,” which had been the subject of many Senate investigations.
Untal explained further that in terms of revenues, earnings from POGOs were also “not part” the $26.3 billion generated by BPO firms under IBPAP last year.”
Lawmakers had warned that reopening of Pogo operations poses great health risk especially under the prevailing COVID-19 crisis.
It was Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chair Andreaa Domingo and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who separately announced and classified Pogos as BPO companies that would be allowed to resume operation but with only 30 percent of their staff and under “stringent conditions.”
Domingo said the suspension of Pogo operations deprived the government of P600 million in monthly earnings, money that could help augment funds to combat COVID-19.
For his art, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said he was “morally opposed to Pogos and that the green light given to them indicated “favoritism” for the gaming business.” (ia/SovereignPH.com)