Press Release
February 7, 2020

Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on calling POGO companies to strictly observe prevailing government efforts against the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV)

Workers at Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) companies who returned from areas where an nCoV outbreak has been recorded should strictly observe quarantine procedures implemented by the Department of Health (DOH) which is to undergo a 14-day isolation, among others. All government agencies and regulators should issue related guidelines bearing in mind DOH's protocol as the bare minimum.

The state gaming regulator, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), which has oversight on POGOs should fulfill its mandate, and not merely rely on other agencies like the interior department to conduct surveillance on industries they are supposed to monitor. They issue licenses to POGO workers so they can work legitimately, thus it is Pagcor's job to ensure workers comply with relevant health regulations. If there is any doubt with regard to health protocols, they can always seek guidance from the DOH.

We remind POGO operators that they must operate within the bounds of Philippine laws and statutes. Any regulation enforced as a result of the nCov outbreak takes into consideration public safety and welfare. If they cannot comply with our laws, regulations, and standards, they have no place to do business in the Philippines.

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