Empathize, gov’t urged over POGO

A lawmaker on Tuesday appealed to the government to show “empathy and fairness” to individuals employed by controversial Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators as the Bureau of Immigration prepares to deport over 480,000 of its employees.

House Committee on Labor and Employment chairperson Fidel Nograles said that the government should strike a balance in its policies and show empathy and fairness to the illegal POGO workers who have come to the country in search of employment.

“Let’s remember that we also have many compatriots in other countries that we ask for proper treatment,” Nograles said.

The legislator from Rizal pointed out that the Philippines is obliged to provide protection and assistance to foreign employees in the country as a signatory to United Nations treaties on labor.

Nograles suggests that the government should wait for stakeholders to air their side before jumping to conclusions.

The BI, on Friday, said it expects to finish its verification of the records of more than 48,000 foreign POGO workers whose visas have been revoked but clarified that it would grant them a 59-day grace period to depart the country.

Several lawmakers have dared the Immigration agency to deport foreign national POGO workers who were implicated in kidnapping incidents tied to online gambling operations.

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