POGOS - updates

Rappler's latest stories on POGOS

ARTICLE FINDER

China cracks down on cross-border crimes as POGOs thrive in PH

Feb 23, 2020 - 6:25 PM

There are reports that China has canceled the passports of thousands of Chinese working for Philippine offshore gaming operators

PAGE 2019 (the Phil-Asian Gaming Expo) at SMX Convention Center in Pasay on July 12-14, 2019. Photo by Rappler

Vico Sotto shuts down illegal Chinese restaurant in Pasig, says no to POGO

Feb 23, 2020 - 11:38 AM

'Kakapal ng mukha!' Indignant at owners of a permit-less restaurant, the Pasig mayor offers to help the Bureau of Immigration track down and deport illegal workers and businessmen in the city.

VICO SOTTO. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto addresses residents on October 8, 2019, his 100th day in office. File photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

BIR shuts down POGO for failing to pay P114-million taxes

Feb 21, 2020 - 5:54 PM

Synchronization Anywhere for You Incorporated is the first POGO firm to be padlocked by the Bureau of Internal Revenue

CLOSED DOWN. BIR closes down Synchronization Anywhere for You Inc in Pasay City. Photo courtesy of BIR

DOJ to evaluate BI whistleblower for witness protection program

Feb 21, 2020 - 1:59 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says Immigration Officer Allison Chiong, the whistleblower in the POGO bribery mess, is now under provisional coverage of the program

JUSTICE CHIEF. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra attends a budget hearing in Congress on September 5, 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The Chinese among us

Feb 21, 2020 - 11:00 AM

They can be crime suspects, victims, or complicit Filipinos

Duterte says he 'loves' immigration chief Morente amid POGO bribery mess

Feb 20, 2020 - 11:54 PM

Does the President exempt Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, a former Davao police chief, from accountability for the bribery scheme that let illegal Chinese workers slip into the country?

IMMIGRATION CHIEF. Bureau Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente in July 2016. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

Majority of immigration officers part of 'pastillas scheme' – BI whistleblower

Feb 20, 2020 - 7:56 PM

Whistleblower Allison Chiong says immigration officers in NAIA Terminal 1 receive as much as P20,000 a week in the bribery scheme

WHISTLEBLOWER. Immigration Officer 1 Allison Chiong tells all at the Senate hearing on POGO operations. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte sacks immigration officials, employees over POGO bribery scheme

Feb 20, 2020 - 3:25 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte found 'probable cause' to investigate allegations that immigration officers have taken bribes to let illegal Chinese workers slip into the country, says his spokesman

DUTERTE. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte witnesses the program proper during the Philippine Air Force Change of Command ecremony at the Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on January 16, 2020. Malacanang photo

LIVE: Senate hearing on sex trafficking in POGO industry

Feb 20, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Senator Risa Hontiveros' committee investigates sex trafficking, prostitution rings, and exploitative work of women in the Philippine offshore gaming operators industry

COMMITTEE HEARING ON WOMEN, CHILDREN: Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality presides over a public hearing Monday, 20 January 2020 on the additional benefits and privileges of single parents, prevention of teenage pregnancy, prohibition of child marriage as well as the domestic adoption of Filipino children. Cesar Tomanbo/Senate PRIB

BI sacks heads of NAIA terminals as it probes bribery claims

Feb 18, 2020 - 1:12 PM

Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval says the officials 'were removed from their posts due to command responsibility' while the BI investigates the alleged 'pastillas' scheme for arriving POGO workers

NAIA. The facade of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LOOK: How syndicates, airport officials split P10,000 bribe from POGO workers

Feb 17, 2020 - 8:59 PM

In a modus called 'pastillas,' POGOs pay P10,000 per person and provide free lunch to get VIP treatment

BREAKDOWN. A table from an informant shows how airport officials split a P2,000 bribe among them.

‘Magkano at hanggang kanino?’: Hontiveros reveals bribery in entry of POGO workers

Feb 17, 2020 - 3:07 PM

(UPDATED) The senator confronts immigration officials at a hearing after an informant alleges that the entry of POGO employees is facilitated for P10,000 per person

Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of Senate Committee on Women, Children Family Relations and Gender Equality, presides the senate inquiry on the sexual trafficking connected to POGO operations in the country. February 17, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Rescued Taiwanese worker tags a 'Michael Yang' as POGO protector in gov't

Feb 12, 2020 - 10:12 PM

(UPDATED) Senator Risa Hontiveros says they have yet to check if the Michael Yang name-dropped by POGO owners is President Duterte's former 'economic adviser'

HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Senator Risa Hontiveros presents to the media a 23-year old Taiwanese woman, Lai Yu Cian, who claimed she was recruited by a Chinese man to be an advertising employees but instead worked in a POGO. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Money laundering threat: Villanueva recommends suspending POGOs

Feb 11, 2020 - 3:45 PM

Conflicting employment figures, unpaid taxes, and rising crimes lead Senate labor committee chair Joel Villanueva to recommend suspending online gambling in the Philippines

Hontiveros sees link between influx of POGO workers, rise of sex trafficking in Manila

Jan 28, 2020 - 11:40 PM

Senator Risa Hontiveros says photos of trafficked women are being passed around in WeChat and Telegram chat groups, where there are 'menus of services, as though in a restaurant'

PROSTITUTION DENS. Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, presides over a public hearing Tuesday, 28 January 2020 on the proliferation of human trafficking activities in the country brought about by the influx of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO). Photo by Albert Calvelo/Senate PRIB

Taxes from POGOs soar 169% to P6.4 billion in 2019

Jan 27, 2020 - 11:31 AM

The Philippine government improves in getting cash from tax-dodging online gambling operators, but it still falls short of its target

Makati gov’t shutters KTV bar used as prostitution den

Jan 11, 2020 - 6:16 PM

This follows a raid on Friday in which the bar’s Taiwanese owners and Chinese customers were arrested, and 13 Filipina workers rescued

SHUTDOWN. Makati closes down a KTV bar for doubling as a prostitution den. Photo from the Makati Office of the City Information and Community Relations Department

Police arrest 16 foreigners in raid of hotel penthouse used for prostitution

Jan 10, 2020 - 7:19 PM

The Makati police roundup two Taiwanese, who own the KTV bar, and 14 Chinese nationals, who were customers

Photo from Makati Police

Husband of kidnapped Chinese woman claims she is back home

Dec 17, 2019 - 12:12 AM

But Makati Police Investigation Unit chief Major Gideon Ines Jr says they have yet to verify whether Zhou Mei, a POGO employee, is already back home

Zhou Mei's photo courtesy of Makati Police

In Duterte-land, U2’s Bono touches on the taboo

Dec 11, 2019 - 5:12 PM

’You don’t compromise on human rights,’ he wants to tell the President

Chinese abducting POGO workers ‘fairly common’ – Makati investigator

Dec 10, 2019 - 4:10 PM

There is an average of one incident a month, says Makati Police Investigation Unit chief Major Gideon Ines Jr

ABDUCTION. A screengrab of the kidnapping on December 9, along Paseo de Roxas in Makati. Screengrab from Riders Fact/Facebook

Chinese woman kidnapped in Makati is POGO employee – police

Dec 10, 2019 - 2:27 PM

(UPDATED) The victim has been identified as Zhou Mei, 28, after her relatives come to the Makati Police to report the incident

Zhou Mei's photo courtesy of Makati Police

Makati to temporarily stop issuing new business permits to POGO service providers

Dec 08, 2019 - 10:42 AM

Mayor Abby Binay imposes the indefinite ban after the recent spike in crimes and prostitution involving foreign workers hired by POGOs

TEMPORARY BAN. Makati Mayor Abby Binay imposes an indefinite moratorium on new service providers of POGOs based in Makati. File photo by Rappler

[ANALYSIS | Point of Law] The OSG and POGOs

Dec 02, 2019 - 7:00 PM

Does the Office of Solicitor General have the power to give advisory opinions to other government agencies like Pagcor?

Malacañang says gov't can collect taxes from POGOs

Nov 19, 2019 - 2:00 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says 'technicalities' will not stop the Duterte administration from collecting what is owed the Philippine government

TAXING POGOs. Malacañang says the Philippine government will not be stopped from taxing Philippine offshore gaming operations. Photo by Rappler

House panel OKs bill slapping 5% franchise tax, 25% income tax on POGOs

Nov 18, 2019 - 1:05 PM

House committee on ways and means chairperson Joey Salceda says imposing additional taxes on Philippine offshore gaming operators would raise P45 billion in government revenue

NEW TAXES. The House committee on ways and means moves to impose additional taxes on Philippine offshore gaming operators. File photo by Rappler

DOF backs more taxes for online gambling firms

Oct 22, 2019 - 6:57 PM

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez supports the plan of Albay Representative Joey Salceda to slap more taxes on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators and their service providers

Angeles City shuts down Chinese-operated POGO firm

Oct 12, 2019 - 2:58 PM

City Hall closes a POGO company which had no business permit and was not paying business taxes

PAGE 2019 (the Phil-Asian Gaming Expo) at SMX Convention Center in Pasay on July 12-14, 2019. Photo by Rappler

China's expansion

Oct 09, 2019 - 7:33 PM

What the Philippines should watch out for

BIR closes first tax-dodging online gambling firm

Sep 25, 2019 - 11:02 AM

The Bureau of Internal Revenue stops the operations of Great Empire Gaming and Amusement Corporation

Ace Barbers warns POGOs make PH vulnerable to drugs, money laundering

Sep 24, 2019 - 8:14 AM

The chair of the House committee on dangerous drugs says the online gambling industry has the potential to 'revolutionize' the money laundering process

FRONT FOR DIRTY MONEY? A lawmaker cautions against the booming online gambling industry in the Philippines. File photo by Rappler

CIDG 7 chief relieved for leading raid on Cebu POGO

Sep 19, 2019 - 9:51 PM

The Central Visayas' controversial CIDG chief Lito Patay previously led Quezon City's Station 6, known for racking up the most kills in anti-drug operations between 2016 and 2017

RELIEVED. CIDG-7 chief Police Colonel Lito Patay is relieved over heading a raid on a local POGO office. Photo from QCPD Batasan's Facebook page

High risk, high return: House to probe online gambling boom

Sep 18, 2019 - 6:00 PM

House ways and means committee chairman Joey Salceda says they are 'quietly studying' online gambling risks, adding that the industry already comprises nearly 1% of gross domestic product

Over 8,000 foreign POGO workers lack permits – DOLE

Sep 17, 2019 - 5:56 PM

Bureau of Local Employment Director Dominique Tutay says 1,693 have since applied for the required alien employment permit, while a list of 6,678 others who did not was given to immigration

ILLEGAL WORKERS. The Department of Labor and Employment says over 8,000 foreign workers in POGOs did not have required working permits as of June 2019. Photo by Rappler

Online gambling contributes P551 billion to Philippine economy yearly

Sep 17, 2019 - 12:10 PM

Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) now bring more cash to the local economy than business process outsourcing companies, says Leechiu Property Consultants

JACKPOT. A property consultancy firm says online gambling is contributing more cash now more than ever to the local economy. Photo by Jeff Digma/Rappler


Police file charges vs 181 illegal Chinese POGO workers in Cebu

Sep 11, 2019 - 12:45 PM

The employees face charges of violating illegal gambling and cybercrime laws

Duterte won't ban POGOs: 'We need it'

Sep 04, 2019 - 9:19 PM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not heeding China's call to ban online gambling operations

ONLINE GAMBLING. The Philippine government wants to better collect taxes from POGOs. Photo by Jeff Digma/Rappler

Villanueva says POGOs are 'fertile ground for illicit transactions'

Aug 28, 2019 - 6:41 PM

'We maintain that the sector does very little to benefit the country,' says the senator

HOT SPOT. Various real estate developers have rapidly constructed buildings in the Bay Area to meet market demand. File photo by Ralf Rivas/Rappler

[ANALYSIS] Duterte and the POGO dilemma

Aug 26, 2019 - 4:58 PM

Beijing has asked that POGOs be closed, but their departure would in the near term adversely affect the bottom line of several of the Philippines' largest real estate firms. It's for President Duterte to save the sector.

China wants Philippines to ban online gambling

Aug 21, 2019 - 12:28 PM

China also wants to 'jointly tackle criminal activities including online gambling and cyber fraud,' saying it would help development relations between Manila and Beijing

BAN ONLINE GAMBLING. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang says China hopes the Philippine will move to ban all forms of online gambling. Photo from website of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

OFWs in China as spies? 'Preposterous,' says Lorenzana

Aug 18, 2019 - 5:15 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana points out that Chinese companies are mandated to provide intelligence to their government, unlike overseas Filipino workers

DEFENSE CHIEF. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (center) with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua (left). Photo from the Chinese Embassy in Manila

Defense chief says Chinese POGO workers can easily shift to espionage

Aug 17, 2019 - 8:11 AM

Chinese online gaming hubs near military camps can eventually spy on them, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says, but a security expert believes spying is 'the least of worries' that POGOs present

DEFENSE CHIEF. Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on June 19, 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Villanueva says POGOs only 'kill' the local economy

Jul 31, 2019 - 6:02 PM

Senator Joel Villanueva says Filipino interests are only at a disadvantage with the growing Philippine online gambling operations industry in the country

REGULATE. Senator Joel Villanueva bats for the regulation of POGOs operating in the country. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

How China’s online gambling addiction is reshaping Manila

Oct 09, 2018 - 9:00 PM

There's more dim sum in the metro, but the Chinese have driven up rent for locals and brought in a gambling contagion

Families of kidnapped Nigerian girls shocked at marriage claims

Nov 01, 2014 - 7:16 PM

It the claim about marriage is shocking to us although we know that Boko Haram is not a reliable group says the head of the Chibok Elders Forum

A temporary exhibition is displayed on the Place de la Republique to support the movement Bring Back Our Girls in Paris, France (28 July 2014). Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA

WebHits: Pogo Parkour

May 20, 2014 - 8:00 AM

Xtreme Pogo riders take their act to the streets