The number of Filipinos working for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) has increased to 25,000 despite ongoing calls from lawmakers to ban POGOs, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The latest figures were higher compared to the 22,000, which was revealed during a Senate hearing last October.
In a televised interview last Thursday, Labor Undersecretary Benjo M. Benavidez said most of the POGO employees belong to the rank-and-file and work as customer service representatives, agents or dealers.
Most of the workers of POGOs, however, are foreign nationals (FN), particularly Chinese.
The Filipino workers may be affected in case Congress will push through with outlawing POGOs in the country for supposedly contributing to an increase in local crimes, according to Benavidez.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. earlier said he wants a thorough study to be first conducted to determine if there will be a need to ban POGOs.
Benavidez assured they are ready to provide aid to both Filipino and FN, who may be affected by POGO closures.
He said their aid includes facilitating the payment of the separation pay of the affected workers, unemployment insurance, employment facilitation, skills upskilling and training, as well as livelihood and emergency employment programs.
Image credits: DOLE via Facebook