POGOs - updates

Rappler's latest stories on POGOs

ARTICLE FINDER

POGO slowdown amid pandemic to hurt property sector

Apr 01, 2020 - 5:25 PM

The booming property sector in the Philippines fueled by Chinese gambling money hits a snag, as the coronavirus pandemic stops POGO operations

Pagcor says POGOs donated P150M in medical supplies, food

Mar 21, 2020 - 4:53 PM

POGOs were previously sanctioned for not paying taxes

Coronavirus stops bingo and casinos, POGOs remain open

Mar 15, 2020 - 1:10 PM

Pagcor allows POGOs to continue operating, but with only a minimal number of workers


We need leadership, sanity during crisis

Mar 12, 2020 - 10:00 PM

Enough of mediocrity

Duterte says POGOs 'clean,' but AMLC warns of dirty money

Mar 11, 2020 - 11:55 AM

The Anti-Money Laundering Council flags the lack of transparency and low level of awareness of rules in the online gaming industry

Duterte clears POGOs despite alleged crime links

Mar 10, 2020 - 10:08 PM

'Under my oath of office as President of the Republic, as elected by you, 'yang POGO na 'yan, malinis 'yan,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

ON POGOS. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during a meeting with local chief executives at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on February 10, 2020. File photo by Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo

Probably not 3,000, but Chinese agents are around us – intel experts

Mar 10, 2020 - 11:54 AM

(UPDATED) Are there undercover Chinese military agents among POGO workers entering the country? Military and intelligence community sources say they've been here all along.

CHINA RISING. This photo taken on September 15, 2019 shows people singing a patriotic song during an event in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province, to celebrate the 70th year of the founding of the People's Republic of China. File photo from Agence France-Presse

Panelo defends Duterte's decision to keep POGOs running: 'Hindi naman masama'

Mar 09, 2020 - 4:50 PM

'You cannot be burning the entire house just because there are so many rats there,' says Panelo of the President's decision to keep POGOs despite alleged crime links

KEEP POGOS. Players at the 2019 Phil-Asian Gaming Expo at SMX Convention Center in July 2019. File photo by Rappler

[EDITORIAL] Tinik sa lalamunan ang mga POGO

Mar 09, 2020 - 11:04 AM

Halimbawa ito ng gangster mentality ng mga opisyal natin na nag-aasam ng mabilis na kita kapalit ng ating katinuan at kaluluwa

Duterte won't ban POGOs despite alleged crime links – Panelo

Mar 08, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says President Rodrigo Duterte's decision is also based on the need to fund government projects

NO BAN. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech after leading the inspection of the North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link Circumferential Road 3 (C3)-R10 Section in Caloocan City on March 5, 2020. Malacañang photo

Vico Sotto shuts down foreign-owned businesses without permits

Mar 07, 2020 - 8:48 PM

The Pasig City mayor says businesses can operate within the city as long as they have valid permits

CLOSED. Pasig City padlocks an establishment without permit to operate. Photo from Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto's Facebook page

'If we're acting like a province of China, why allow POGOs?' – Drilon

Mar 05, 2020 - 10:36 PM

'Why are we so in love with POGOs?' Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asks sarcastically

TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS. China is out against gambling as Philippines embraces the industry in its shores. File photo by Ted Aljibe/AFP

Malacañang: Duterte won't rush decision on calls for POGO suspension

Mar 05, 2020 - 5:41 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo also says the President's decision to suspend lotto operations in 2019 – widely criticized as done in haste – should not be compared to his perceived slow action on calls to suspend POGO operations

'DECISIVE PRESIDENT.' President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech before newly appointed government officials in Malacañang on March 3, 2020. Malacañang photo

PNP says rise in Chinese kidnappings linked to POGO worker influx

Mar 05, 2020 - 5:15 PM

PNP deputy director for operations Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar says the increase in crime is related to the number of Chinese who have arrived here

RISE IN KIDNAPPINGS. PLtGen Guillermo Eleazar talks to the media after the hearing on the alleged money laundering, crimes, and other nefarious activities associated with the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) in the country at the Senate on Marh 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

2,000+ Chinese military in PH for immersion? Checking, says AFP chief

Mar 05, 2020 - 4:05 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines is verifying a raw report from Senator Panfilo Lacson that up to 3,000 members of China’s military are in the Philippines on an ‘immersion mission’

CHINA'S MILITARY. Chinese military personnel gather at the Shenzhen Bay stadium in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong in China's southern Guangdong province, on August 15, 2019. File photo by Agence France-Presse

Drilon to Pagcor: 'Stupid mindset' to allow POGOs for money

Mar 05, 2020 - 2:46 PM

'The social problems that POGO has brought to our country is not worth the relocation fees that you earn for Pagcor. Let me tell you that right in your face,' says Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

'STUPID MINDSET'. Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon joins Senator Gordon at the hearing on the alleged money laundering linked with Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) on March 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Baka military?' Residents troubled by POGO workers moving into Parañaque subdivision

Mar 05, 2020 - 2:03 PM

Villagers say it's suspicious that a new firing range has popped up near their club house as droves of able-bodied Chinese nationals move into their neighborhood

ONLINE GAMING. The Phil-Asian Gaming Expo in Pasay City in July 2019. File photo by Rappler

'Filipinos' safety first': Hontiveros wants Chinese 'criminals' deported

Mar 05, 2020 - 12:45 PM

The Chinese embassy says criminal cases in the country involving its citizens are only 'isolated incidents'

DEPORT. Senator Risa Hontiveros wants criminals from China deported. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

LIVE: Senate hearing on money laundering, sex trafficking in POGO industry

Mar 05, 2020 - 11:07 AM

The Senate probes alleged money laundering, crimes, and other nefarious activities associated with POGO operations

Gordon says Duterte's 'soft' stance on China fuels POGO scandals

Mar 04, 2020 - 8:44 PM

'That's why there is some tolerance. Takot sila eh. Hindi nila alam. 'May deal ba si boss dito? May deal ba ang Presidente dito? Pinagbibigyan niya itong mga ito',' says Senator Richard Gordon

TOO SOFT. Senator Richard Gordon says the Duterte administration is too soft with China. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

POGOs linked to crimes: Forged PH passports, money-laundering, sex trafficking

Mar 04, 2020 - 8:00 AM

(UPDATE) Here's a rundown of issues hounding the opaque Philippine offshore gaming operations industry

POGO. A screen shows how online gambling is done. Photo by Rappler

Pasig officials charged as Vico Sotto cracks down on illegal businesses, fixers

Mar 02, 2020 - 11:17 AM

(UPDATED) ‘Hindi ‘nyo po talaga ako makukumbinse na okay ang POGO para sa Pasig City,’ says the mayor as he warns his own bureaucracy against ‘negotiating’ with illegal business operators

VICO SOTTO. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto addresses residents on October 8, 2019. File photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

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

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