“If the government were to ban POGOs, it would just force the businesses to operate clandestinely, which would be far worse…

Gambling has been digitalizing. “At first, it was electronic cockfighting, also known as e-sabong, and later it was e-bingo and e-casino,” Salceda stated in an interview broadcast on ANC Headstart.

“The only way to stop gambling is if you can halt digitalization,” she said. Can you stop gambling from becoming more digitalized? Can you stop digitalization?” posed the question to the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

POGOs have been connected to an upsurge in local criminal activity, including kidnapping, and as a result, some groups, including members of the Philippine legislature, have been pressuring the government to abolish them.

According to Salceda, the best way to deal with POGOs is to properly regulate and tax them, as well as to execute the law in a stringent manner, in order to solve gambling-related crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, and prostitution.

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“When it comes to taxes on POGOs, we have one of the strictest regulations in the entire world. In point of fact, we are the only nation that has a statute pertaining to POGOs. You will not be able to put an end to gambling unless you also put an end to digitalization. These recurring occurrences of digital gaming keep happening more and more frequently. “The answer is to essentially just regularize and control it…to have very strong regulatory authorities,” he stated.

“There should be a systematic approach, a physical way of addressing the problem with the combined action of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), the PNP (Philippine National Police), and the BID (Bureau of Immigration and Deportation),” he added. “There should be a physical way of addressing the problem with the combined action of the NBI, the PNP (Philippine National Police), and the BID.”

Salceda stated that POGOs provide tens of thousands of jobs to Filipinos, in addition to bringing in billions of dollars in revenue for the government and other connected firms. This is in response to the claim that maintaining POGOs is not worth the social problems that they cause.

“If you ban POGOs, around 20,000 direct hires and over 70,000 more who are indirectly employed like waiters and drivers could lose their employment,” he stated. “These indirect employees include people like waiters and drivers.”

According to Salceda, the total contribution of POGOs to the economy of the Philippines reached P600 billion when the operations of POGOs were at their peak.

“At the moment, the total demand is approximately P128.5 billion, and annual office rent costs P19 billion.” “There’s household rent, there’s energy payment, yung kinakain P11 million, and then there’s the spending of the employees as well,” he explained. “Their food expenses reach up to P11 million, and the staff spend money on other things as well.”

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