Majority of Filipinos believe that the presence of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in the Philippines is harmful to the country, said Senator Win Gatchalian, citing a survey conducted by Pulse Asia from November 27 to December 1 last year.
When asked their opinion on whether POGOs are beneficial or harmful to the country, 58% of the respondents said they think the operation of POGOs in the country is harmful.
The overall sentiment is reflected across location and class, based on the survey. In terms of location, 61% of respondents in the National Capital Region, 55% in Luzon, 53% in Visayas, and 67% in Mindanao believe POGO operations in the country are harmful.
In terms of social class, the same sentiment is felt by 70% of respondents in the ABC class, 58% in the D class, and 44% in the E class.
Respondents who said they believe the POGO industry is injurious to the country cited the main reasons for their response: proliferation of vices, with a total of 67% citing this as the main reason; increase in POGO-related crime incidents involving Chinese nationals with 57%; tax evasion of POGOs, 43%; increasing number of Chinese nationals employed by POGOs, also with 43%; no additional opportunities given to Filipinos, with 33%; and increasing cost of rent, residential, or business properties with 22%.
“The survey results are an important piece of data that we will take into consideration as the data represents the sentiments of our people and provides relevant insights on the issue at hand,” Gatchalian said.
The Senate Committee on Ways and Means, chaired by Gatchalian, is currently working on the completion of a committee report in relation to an inquiry on the economic benefits and social costs of allowing POGO operations in the country.
By contrast, only 19% of respondents said POGOs are beneficial. Worth noting is that only 12% of respondents in the NCR, where a significant number of POGOs operate, said the industry is beneficial to the country while 20% of respondents in Luzon, 26% in the Visayas, and 17% IN Mindanao also share the same view.
In terms of class, the 19% of total respondents who said POGOs are beneficial is broken down into 10% in the ABC class, 20% in the D class, and 27% in the E class.