The county’s residents have voted in a new Pulse Asia survey, which took place between November 27 and December 1. In the survey, the majority of respondents, or some 58%, argued that POGOs are seen as harmful to society and perhaps even the economy.
Vice Spreads Like Wildfire in Society Because of POGOs
People were concerned that because of POGOs, vices in society proliferated, with 67% of respondents confirming this sentiment. Another 57% were worried about rising crime rates involving Chinese nationals, which has been a political argument of late, with some individual lawmakers concerned that an untamed POGO industry could worsen the bilateral ties with China, an important local trade partner.
Another 43% said that tax evasion was also an issue, and about the same number said that POGOs are taking away jobs from locals by giving the to Chinese nationals instead.
The survey’s results were published by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and are part of the latest political salvo against PAGCOR and POGOs in the Philippines. Only 19% of respondents said that POGOs could in fact be beneficial. Cited by the Philippine News Agency, Gatchalian said:
The survey results are an important piece of data that we will take into consideration as the data represents the sentiments of our people and provides relevant insights on the issue at hand.
Gatchalian has been particularly critical of both POGOs and the work that PAGCOR has been putting in as an auditor. One issue the senator cited earlier this week was whether PAGCOR was actually equipped to stop black market operations from proliferation.
Politicians Need to Look into the Hard Facts
He also questioned the way PAGCOR, a big contributor to the state’s purse, conducted audits of revenue and tax payments.
Gatchalian is now looking for help to get a clearer, better picture of the POGO industry, but to get there, he would need the help of fellow lawmakers who may launch an official investigation into the sector and go beyond public perception and get the hard data on how beneficial these operators are in reality.
Whatever is next, Gatchalian says, the simple fact remains that the bulk of people in the Philippines seem opposed to POGOs