Press Release
February 12, 2020

Hontiveros calls for immediate crackdown of 'fly-by-night' POGOs

"Tama na. Sobra na. We need an immediate crackdown on fly-by-night POGOs," said Senator Risa Hontiveros as she presented Lai Yu Cian or Ivy, a 23-year-old Taiwanese national trafficked into the country to work in a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators company.

Ivy, who was forced to work for Chinese nationals in Makati, said she was recruited to work in advertising but was scared when she found out it was a POGO operation. The Taiwanese national said that her passport was confiscated and that her Chinese employers mentally and physically abused her.

"They touched my body in front of other men, and they laughed at me," Ivy said to the media. She said that since her rescue early this month, she has received numerous threats to her safety.

The senator underscored that Ivy's story is one of the many stories of workers, especially women, who are illegally made to work in the Philippines by POGO companies.

"We can't add more crimes being committed to the country. We need to stop these illegal POGO companies immediately," urged Hontiveros. "Maraming krimen ang nakatali sa POGO: illegal recruitment, illegal detention, at sexual harassment. Kailangang matigil na ang mga ito," she concluded.

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