Philippines’ POGO industry is set to restart at the end of April, when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon is slated to be lifted, according to the labor department.
The opening will come despite a number of controversies plaguing the POGO industry in the months leading up to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as sex trafficking, botched work visas, money-laundering, and kidnapping.
“POGOs will continue as long they are allowed by law. We will just continue our initiative to regulate and ensure that these firms are compliant with labor and immigration laws as well as payment of taxes,” said Labor Undersecretary Dominique Tutay to local media.
Tutay said the department was currently investigating up to 2,000 foreign nationals that were allegedly working in POGOs without the required foreign work visa.
Last month, the labor department also found 4,000 foreign nationals in POGO firms that were using the same Tax Identification Numbers in their work visa.
These concerns were set to be discussed and resolved in March, but the work halted due to the lockdown in Luzon.